Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Charles Keating

Committee Member

Kevin MacG. Adams

Committee Member

Andreas Tolk

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

Li Xu


The purpose of this research is to develop and apply a system-theoretic based methodology and corresponding model for Enterprise Architecture development. Enterprise Architectures can assist managers by illustrating the systemic relationships within an organization and the impact changes to the organization could make. Unfortunately, today's modeling practices are proprietary, time-consuming, and generally ineffective as tools for understanding the consequences of strategic-level planning decisions across all levels of the enterprise. This research supports the conclusion that system-specific solutions produce islands of technology and can be prevented by employing better enterprise change planning.

This research combined the practice of Enterprise Architectures with a modern perspective grounded in Systems Theory and the theory regarding the computer science-oriented Semantic Web to present a distinctive methodology for developing models. A review of literature in all three areas provided an illustration of the overlap common to all three domains. It provided support for critical thinking concerning how to enrich the Enterprise Architecture practice. This research was conducted to answer to two primary questions. The first research question investigated the most significant factors to consider when translating authoritative text and rich pictures into semantic models. The second research question qualitatively measured the extent to which models aligned to important organizational guidance are useful for representing the organization as a whole.

Reusable Quality Technical Architectures (RQ-Tech) is the methodology developed from this research. It demonstrates that a complex system of systems organization that must creatively respond to a variety of events can be holistically represented using a dynamic model. RQ-Tech techniques provide ways to map and link the multitudes of scope-level authoritative business documents so that together they can effectively represent the nature and essence of the organization as one organic structure. The marriage of authorized enterprise documentation and the Semantic Web produces a model of the holistic enterprise. This model had previously only been experienced at a tacit level by those exceptionally well-trained in the depth and breadth of organizational culture, supporting laws, policies and related publications. This research effort provides the vision that encourages a paradigm shift away from the mechanistic approach toward organizational change to analogy of a socially connected, interdependent enterprise. New horizons for using the common language of the Semantic Web to capture an understanding of the many interactive systems of the enterprise are substantiated. The research concludes with identification of future research themes prompted by this investigation.