REVIEW - Organization Modeling - Innovative Architectures for the 21st Century


Organization Modeling - Innovative Architectures for the 21st Century


Joseph Morabito, Ira Sack, Anilkumar Bhate




Prentice Hall (1999)




Roger N Lever


August 2001



This book combines Organisational Theory (OT) with software modelling techniques to produce Organisational Modelling (OM). The underlying principles include:

  1. Architecture-in-the-large and architecture-in-the-small
  2. Capturing the creative and informal aspects of organisations
  3. Harnessing tacit knowledge and learning
  4. Weaving the tapestry that contains all of the above

The authors introduce the concepts to support what they term as a revolutionary guide to architecting your entire organisation. This begins by reviewing elements of OT and software modelling and then applying a level of discipline to the analysis and design of organisations by providing a framework to capture that understanding, in particular the concept of an organisational molecule. The authors sum it up as 'The essence of OM is a way of channelling and crystallising our thoughts into something tangible'.

This book is intended for students of business, management and information management. The style of the book reflects the academic focus with clear well-laid prose, liberal use of diagrams and references to other work. What the book does lack is either case studies or worked examples to show the application of the theory. The authors describe this work as somewhat pioneering in nature but this does not absolve them from the responsibility to demonstrate the worth of these new ideas. In its current form the book is in the category of - interesting but does it work?

I would suggest that Organisational Design consultants, academics, students or researchers may be interested in this at its current state of development. However, the majority of software professionals (project managers, technical architects, developers, systems analysts...) will not find it particularly relevant to their activity. The IT planners and business analysts may find it interesting but would probably like to see it in action before applying it in their activities.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.