Adaptive Technologies and Business Integration: Social, Managerial and Organizational Dimensions

Adaptive Technologies and Business Integration: Social, Managerial and Organizational Dimensions

Maria Manuela Cruz-Cunha (Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave, Portugal), Bruno Conceicao Cortes (Business Objects, Portugal) and Goran D. Putnik (University of Minho, Portugal)
Indexed In: SCOPUS View 2 More Indices
Release Date: October, 2006|Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 382|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-048-6
ISBN13: 9781599040486|ISBN10: 1599040484|EISBN13: 9781599040509|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781616927516
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Adaptive Technologies and Business Integration: Social, Managerial and Organizational Dimensions provides an authoritative review of both intra-organizational and inter-organizational aspects in business integration, including: managerial and organizational integration, social integration, and technology integration, along with the resources to accomplish this competitive advantage. This Premier Reference Source contains the most comprehensive knowledge on business integration. It provides an all-encompassing perspective on the importance of business integration in the emerging networked, extended, and collaborative organizational models. The innovative research contained in this reference work make it an essential addition to every library.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Business alignment
  • Business integration
  • Corporate acquisition
  • Enterprise Modeling
  • Enterprise Systems
  • Information communication technology (ICT)
  • Intelligent organizations
  • Ontology mapping techniques
  • Projects appraisal
  • Relational data sources
  • Supply Chain Management
  • XML

Reviews and Testimonials

"This book integrates several dimensions of the quickly evolving field of business integration, including academics, research institutions, and industry."

– Maria Manuela Cunha, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal

"Both aspects that are covered in this book are important: cases that are industry- and demand-driven, and theoretical investigations which can inform the customers about the real potential of the new technologies which can act as drivers and paradigms that can govern the organizational or social aspects of all types of business constellations."

– Adamantios Koumpis, ALTEC, S.A., Greece

I was happy to recognize in the book of Prof Cunha that despite the richness of its content with breaking information that comes from highly advnaced research results at the international level, the structure of the book helps the reader to find the most of of it in terms of utility and usefulness. I recommend it both for use as a reference book to help postgraduate students and researchers in the field, and for the professional consultant in the fields of IT management.

– Nicolaos Protogeros, University of Macedonia, Greece

This book brings together 16 chapters that address various business integration issues that are of significant importance to modern business organizations, researchers, practitioners, and educators.

– In Lee, Western Illinois University, USA

This resource for scholars, technology developers, and executives describes adaptive strategies and tools used to enable business integration. Its broad coverage encompasses both intra- and inter- organizational integration in three dimensions: managerial, social, and organizational.

– Book News Inc., August 2007

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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About the Subject

Business integration is an emerging need of every organization, with increased importance, as information and communication technologies (ICT) advance, efficiency and competitiveness are a must, and collaboration becomes indispensable. Business integration is becoming more and more complex due to the increased complexity of products and processes, increased incorporation of knowledge and skills, fast technological change, globalization and competition. It is, thus, a main organizational challenge gaining increased relevance during recent years. If in the past integration was associated mainly with engineering (processes and operations) integration, today it pervades from the engineering level to the whole organization and inter-organizational aspects.

Organizations integrate resources: people, equipment, software tools, knowledge, skills, technology, opportunities, markets, suppliers, partners. Resources used by organizations, besides being heterogeneous, are supposed to work together effectively and efficiently. The correct orchestration of their integration determines the ability of producing the goods and services that dictate the organization’s competitiveness. In this context, business integration is one of the most important, if not the most important, requirements for making any business truly competitive. Business integration assures that all the resources propel increased performance.

Integration between any sort of process, product or technology, means the ability of two or more systems to work together. When thinking about business integration, it means also the management of human, information and technology resources that together support the organization itself and its relation with partners, suppliers, supply chain … whatever organizational model by which the organization is structured.

But integration is difficult, challenging and, many times, a failure! Adaptive technologies for information and application integration, like Webservices, SOAP, WML and so forth, appear as a robust solution and readily available, but de per si do not solve current needs. Integration models and architectures, technology management and knowledge management are also technologies that must be specially understood and managed to fully achieve business integration objectives.

During recent years we have assisted a huge development effort, addressing the need to share information between processes or within enterprise systems, the need to make information available through the Web, the need to participate in electronic marketplaces, to integrate the supply chain and so forth. The importance of these developments is widely known; however, their implementation is not immediate, as it requires an information technology strategic activity of planning and coordination involving performance management, business processes management, business intelligence, knowledge management, database integrity, workflow, accountability and many other fields of knowledge.

Organizations Face New Trends, Both at the Intra- And Inter-Organizational Levels

This book addresses the development of adaptive strategies and technologies to enable business integration, covering both intra- and inter-organizational integration levels, from three dimensions: managerial, social and organizational. It presents a collection of different but complementary aspects, from business integration models and architectures, knowledge management, socio-technical approaches, and standards and integration protocols, all of these contributing to make intra- and inter-organizational integration possible.

In 16 chapters authored by 40 internationally renowned and experienced researchers and professionals of the business integration world, this book collects the recent models and solutions advanced both by academe and business. It addresses the following four dimensions (or perspectives) of business integration:

    1. The organizational dimension, which includes ontological and organizational approaches—concepts, organizational models and business integration models.
    2. The management dimension, which includes integration management, relationship management, process integration, knowledge management, technology integration management and information integration.
    3. The technological dimension, which includes application integration and integration technologies, technological infrastructure and standards.
    4. The human resources dimension, which includes human resources management, human resources integration, competence management and so forth.

The mission of this book is to discuss the main issues, trends and opportunities related to business integration from the above-mentioned dimensions, and to disseminate practical solutions.

This book is both for an academic audience (teachers, researchers and students, mainly of post-graduate studies) and professionals (managers, organizational and system developers, and information technology (IT) specialists in terms of explaining requirements and frameworks for the development of solutions).

Organization of the Book

The book contains 16 chapters written by a group of internationally renowned and experienced authors in the business integration field, as well as a set of younger authors showing a high potential for research and development. Contributions came from the United States, Latin America, several countries of Eastern and Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. At the same time, the book integrates contributions from academe, research institutions and industry, representing a good and comprehensive representation of the state-of-the-art adaptive technologies to address the several dimensions of this fast evolutionary problem of business integration.

The chapters are organized in five sections:

Section I, Business Requirements and Organizational Modeling, introduces current business requirements and organizational models as requirements for business integration. Why integrate? What to integrate? Which are the integration enablers? The first four chapters of the book contribute to answering to these questions.

    Chapter I, Enterprise Reconfiguration Dynamics and Business Alignment, discusses the phenomenon of the enterprise organizational reconfiguration and its dynamics as a business alignment enabler. By business alignment, it will be understood the enterprise’s actions undertaken to gain synergy between the business—that is, the market opportunity and the provision of the required, or innovative, product—with the required, or designed, specifications at the required, or proper, time with the lowest cost and best possible return (financial or other). The enterprise’s organization “fast reconfiguration,” either as a proactive or reactive action, or “fast adaptation” or “flexibility” (as a “reactive” action), is seen as the main enabler of business alignment and the main require ment for achieving competitiveness. The need to keep a close alignment with a dynamic market environment in permanent change implies the high dynamics of the organizations’ organization, or organizational structure, reconfiguration. The first part of the text presents an enterprise’s requirements for competitiveness and business alignment, while the second part discusses the phenomenon of enterprise reconfigurability as the business alignment enabler. In the third part, an analysis of some organizational and management approaches is presented from the reconfigurability point of view.

    Chapter II, Co-Engineering the Business, Information Use, and Operations Systems for IT-Enabled Adaptation, introduces the Adaptive Complex Enterprise architecture, an enabler to deal with an externally driven environment and increasing complexity among entities. This holistic Adaptive Complex Enterprise architecture is based on complete dynamic performance traceability of interacting entities as they produce value. The architecture is operationalized through the related co-engineering methodology introduced in this chapter. Traceability enables business agents to accede the information for decision-making and adaptation, using IT as needed. The unified business-IT architecture approach introduced is easier than applying a plethora of disconnected business, system engineering and IT frameworks.

    Chapter III, Dynamic Enterprise Modeling for Knowledge Worker Industries, presents a case study of the empirical development and implementation of a commercially successful enterprise modeling framework and associated constructs. The chapter discusses the objectives from a practical business and management viewpoint and provides a guide for the implementation of the empirical framework in real enterprises. It presents the successful integration of standard theoretical frameworks with empirical business and management models, including areas that previously have not been covered in an integrated fashion, such as strategic management capability, the ability to integrate the framework with various management paradigms and partial automation of model data capture.

    Chapter IV, Enterprise Systems: Innovation, Development, and Advantages, discusses the relevance of information management capacity and its impact on organizations’ development and competitiveness. The current increase in information management capacity generates new opportunities, making it critical for companies to significantly increase information, intelligence and technology management competences to successfully exploit these new opportunities. However, IT development has, in many cases, not been balanced by an enhancement of information management competences within organizations. This chapter discusses how to successfully exploit opportunities through the business philosophy of Enterprise Systems, which has helped streamline business processes and improve the overall performance of organizations; and introduces and discusses the development of Enterprise Systems and its role in creating competitive advantage.

Section II, Integration Models and Architectures, is composed of three chapters that contribute through addressing the specification and development of models and architectures to support business integration. These chapters discuss the questions: How to efficiently and effectively integrate? and How can integration bring competitive advantages?

    Chapter V, Competence Management for Business Integration, discusses that business integration requires that each partner can guarantee not only the quality of its products, but also the qualification and competence of its workforce. The usual models, such as those included in the human resource management modules of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, are not sufficient in highly constrained domains like aeronautics. The chapter discusses how a generic competence management model needed to be modified and enlarged to satisfy such constraints, introducing a model based on a software application, which may ensure that only competent people have been involved in the various steps of the manufacturing process and also may improve the way operational competences are managed in the company.

    Chapter VI, Business Integration in the Insurance Industry: The Intermediary Side of the Question, introduces the main concerns and constraints felt in the insurance industry, which is heavily based on data, information and knowledge processing and requires a large connectivity and articulation between the entities in the business. ICT and information systems can provide that connectivity, both intra- and inter-organization, making it possible for participants to come closer and dialog better, reducing response times and costs, improving the service to their clients and, possibly, creating new business opportunities. The chapter exposes the problems faced by intermediaries and insurance companies in this industry all over the world when trying to integrate their business and how they can be overcome. It also explains, by using a case study, how far the business of an intermediary integrates with other entities, using an electronic business platform built on Internet technologies.

    Chapter VII, SCOntology: A Formal Approach Toward a Unified and Integrated View of the Supply Chain, points out the various challenges associated with supply chain management, which involves coordinating and integrating material, information and money flows both within and across several companies. The integration of these flows is perceived in quite distinct ways by different communities, raising some semantics-related problems. The chapter introduces a new ontology, SCOntology, to describe a supply chain at various abstraction levels by sharing a precise meaning of the information exchanged during the communication among the many stakeholders involved. Moreover, SCOntology provides a foundation for the specification of information logistics processes and also sets the grounds for measuring and evaluating a supply chain by stating different metrics and performance-related concepts.

Section III, Business Integration Management, addresses the organizational and managerial tools to enable business integration implementation (or integration processes). The three chapters of this section present several organizational and managerial solutions and contribute to the answer of these questions: How to enable business integration? How to manage to fully exploit business integration opportunities and advantages?

    Chapter VIII, Holistic Approach to Align ICT Capabilities with Business Integration, proposes a holistic approach for the alignment of business integration with necessary ICT capabilities. This holistic approach encompasses the setup of an interdisciplinary forum, whose task is to align the business strategy with the resource strategy. The chapter discusses the authors’ view on Enterprise Architecture (integrating a business architecture, information architecture, application architecture and infrastructure architecture), how it relates to the interdisciplinary forum, and the impact of business integration on Enterprise Architecture.

    Chapter IX, Managing Information Systems Integration in Corporate Mergers and Acquisition, focuses the role of information systems integration in the context of corporate mergers and acquisitions. The topic is addressed from a management perspective and especially targets the consequences that information systems integration has for the acquisition initiative. Based on a literature review, the chapter presents a framework for describing, explaining and managing information systems integration in mergers and acquisitions. The usefulness and validity of this framework is shown by a case study on acquisition and information systems integration.

    Chapter X, The Impact of the Process Integration on Business Management: Case Studies using Six Sigma Methodology, shows the power of the process integration in increasing the performance level of industrial systems using the Six Sigma methodology. The chapter explains how successful theories about process integration can be implemented in different industrial fields by introducing a rigorous methodology. Starting from the consideration that processes must be managed in order to achieve customer satisfaction, the companies need to change their old paradigms and focus on an integrated management of their functions. Six Sigma methodology is the solution proposed by the authors, which can be applied to every industrial field, anywhere there is a need for a global, shared objective and improvement. Additionally, three case studies are discussed to better illustrate the opportunities and advantages associated with implementation of Six Sigma.

Section IV, Knowledge Management for Business Integration, presents three contributions to this indispensable technology for business integration, covered by three chapters that discuss: What is the knowledge management role? What is the impact of knowledge management? How can knowledge resources be integrated in organizations?

    Chapter XI, New Business Requirements in the Knowledge-Based Society, explains knowledge management’s role for competitive advantage as a means of a new business requirement in the knowledge-based society. It argues that knowledge management, combined with new IT, determines new approaches of the business strategy, knowledge leadership, culture, management content, organizational structure, technology and innovation, which are key enablers for competitive advantage. In addition, these are discussed in the case of a virtual organization (Network of Excellence) for building the knowledge-sharing culture, based on the interaction of management functions and stages of the knowledge creation process. To the authors, understanding the main issues and trends of knowledge management, as an essential element of business integration, will assist in developing new approaches for attending efficiency in the new global virtual organizations.

    Chapter XII, Intelligent Organizations: Knowledge Computing Management, is concerned with conceptualizing and getting results on topics that contribute to the understanding of the Knowledge Society we are going through, focusing the area of computer administration of knowledge, with the purpose of obtaining sustainable intelligent organizations. The chapter introduces an approach for organizations to carry out methodologically a diagnostic and outline of solutions. The contents are related with the information and obtaining of knowledge through tools of business intelligence of and technology management. The purpose is to facilitate the tools and concepts to recognize the strategic value of information as an effective form to achieve the prospective results. This purpose is achieved by an appropriate structure of knowledge, human resources and technology that crosses the organization in an integral and integrated form.

    Chapter XIII, Integration of Knowledge Resources in R&D Organizations: The Case of Mihajlo Pupin Institute, introduces a business integration framework suitable for knowledge management in R&D organizations in the high technology sector. The knowledge management platform design is based on the latest technological trends and standards. Two main constituents of the proposed system are: the document warehouse layer, based on data warehousing methodology, and the semantic layer, based on the latest semantic technologies of ontologies and Web services. The initial results of introducing such a platform in an R&D institute (the Mihajlo Pupin Institute) in accordance with ISO 9001 Quality Assurance standards, are presented and discussed. Its utilization at the Mihajlo Pupin Institute will facilitate reusability of knowledge items and enhance creativity and innovation.

Section V, Technologies and Infrastructures, consists of three chapters describing and discussing the development of solutions for information and application integration. It helps answer the question: Which are the main infrastructures enabling information and application integration?

    Chapter XIV, Business Information Integration from XML and Relational Databases Sources, introduces different alternatives to storing and managing jointly relational and XML data sources. Today, businesses are transformed in e-business and have to manage large data volumes and from heterogeneous sources. To manage large amounts of information, satabase management systems continue to be one of the most used tools, and the most extended model is the relational one. On the other side, XML has reached the de facto standard to present and exchange information between businesses on the Web. Therefore, it could be necessary to use tools as mediators to integrate these two different data to a common format like XML, since it is the main data format on the Web. The chapter makes a classification of the main tools and systems where this problem is handled, presenting their advantages and disadvantages; and proposes a new system to solve the integration business information problem.

    Chapter XV, Ontology Mapping Techniques in Information Integration, provides an overview of the approaches to information integration developed by researchers in the community of ontology mapping. Besides introducing the background and concepts of ontology mapping, it presents a comprehensive and detailed treatment of different ontology mapping schemes. Closely related aspects of ontology mapping, such as mapping result description, similarity measures, algorithm performance evaluation and so forth, are also addressed. Ontologies are means to conceptualize and structure knowledge; however, ontologies themselves do not provide semantic interoperability, since a single ontology cannot be used to represent all kinds of domains and applications. Ontology mapping, therefore, is introduced to achieve knowledge sharing and semantic integration in an environment with different underlying ontologies. The emphasis of the chapter is to present an actualized snapshot of this fast-growing technology.

    Chapter XVI, Integration Platform for De-Centralized Investment Projects Appraisal, discusses a few software architectures and platforms in relation with their ability to cope with business integration problems in large and geographically dispersed companies. Of these architectures, the three-tier architecture has reached maturity and proved its usefulness in solving these problems. For solving more complex business integration problems, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), based on an agent or Web services approach, is recommended. This chapter provides concise information about architectures and platforms, and an insight into two complex applications based on them, that will be useful in developing other complex applications that face similar business integration problems.


    The book provides researchers, scholars and professionals with some of the most advanced research developments, solutions and implementations. It is expected to provide a better understanding of business integration and its adaptive technologies from an organizational and technological perspective. We expect the book to be read by academics (i.e., teachers, researchers and students), technology solutions developers and enterprise managers (including top-level managers). The book is also expected to help and support teachers of graduate and postgraduate courses from management to IT.

    Maria Manuela Cunha
    Bruno Conceição Cortes
    Goran D. Putnik


    Guimarães, March 2006

    Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

    Maria Manuela Cruz-Cunha is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Technology at the Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave, Portugal. She holds a Dipl. Eng. in the field of Systems and Informatics Engineering, an M.Sci. in the field of Computer Integrated Manufacturing and a Dr.Sci in the field of Production Systems Engineering. She teaches subjects related to Information Systems, Information Technologies and Organizational Models to undergraduate and post-graduate studies. She supervises several PhD projects in the domain of Virtual Enterprises and Information Systems and Technologies. She regularly publishes in international peer-reviewed journals and participates in international scientific conferences. She serves as a member of Editorial Boards and as an Associate Editor for several International Journals and for several Scientific Committees of International Conferences. She has authored and edited several books and her work appears in more than 100 papers published in journals, book chapters and conference proceedings. She is the co-founder and co-chair of several international conferences: CENTERIS – Conference on ENTERprise Information Systems, ViNOrg - International Conference on Virtual and Networked Organizations: Emergent Technologies and Tools and SeGAH – IEEE International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health.
    Bruno Conceicao Cortes is currently a senior software developer for Business Objects, one of the world’s leading companies in business intelligence solutions. Until recently, he lectured in the Higher School of Technology at the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal, where he was the coordinator of the Artificial Intelligence Area and the responsible teacher for courses on databases, advanced databases programming, and decision support systems. He holds a Dipl. Eng. in Informatics and Systems Engineering, with specialization in Systems Analysis and Software Specification, an M.Sci. in Informatics and Computer Science, with specialization in Distributed Systems, Computers Communication and Computers Architecture, all from the University of Minho, Portugal. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence). He was project leader in several projects on business intelligence, enterprise information systems, data quality, and decision support environments. His main areas of interest and expertise are business integration, decision support, business intelligence, and database development.
    Goran D. Putnik received his Dipl. Eng., M.Sci. and Dr.Sci. from the Belgrade University, both M.Sci. and Dr.Sci. in the domain of Intelligent Manufacturing Systems. He is currently Associate Professor, at Department of Production and Systems Engineering, University of Minho (Portugal) and teaches, or has taught, a number of subjects in the area of CIM, IMS, Concurrent Engineering, Design Theory, and Virtual Enterprises on undergraduate and post-graduate studies. He served as the Director of the Centre for Production Systems Engineering (CESP) and as the Director of the Master Course on CIM, at the University of Minho. Dr. Putnik’s scientific and engineering interests are manufacturing systems and enterprises design and control theory and implementation, design theory and design engineering, formal theory of production systems and enterprises, and distributed, agile and virtual enterprises. He regularly publishes articles and presents papers on conferences. In last years his special attention is on the topic of Virtual Enterprises for which he organized a research group and a number of research projects and has been also an invited speaker by international research groups.