Business & Information Systems Engineering

Document Type

Research Paper


Enterprise transformations are fundamental changes in an organization. Such changes typically affect different stakeholder groups (e.g., program managers, business managers) that exhibit a significant diversity regarding their members’ knowledge, goals, and underlying assumptions. Yet, creating shared understanding among diverse stakeholder groups in transformations is a main antecedent for success. The paper analyzes which properties of enterprise architecture models contribute to syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic capacities which helps to create shared understanding among stakeholder groups involved in enterprise transformation. The differences among stakeholder groups are assessed through the lens of knowledge boundaries, and enterprise architecture models are assessed through the lens of boundary objects. A research model is developed and empirically tested that describes which boundary object properties are required to overcome three progressively complex knowledge boundaries – syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic. The findings show which boundary object properties contribute to a respective capacity needed to overcome each of the three knowledge boundaries. Specifically, the results show that for (1) a syntactic capacity, concrete and modular enterprise architecture (EA) models are helpful; (2) a semantic capacity, visual EA model properties are relevant, and (3) a pragmatic capacity, broad stakeholder participation is conductive.