Engineering the Organization from the Bottom Up

Marielba Zacarias, Rodrigo Magalhaes, José Tribolet


The paper asserts that the process of emergence which constitutes the cornerstone of contemporary sociological thought on organization lies also at the root of the process of organizational engineering. Furthermore it proposes that if the study of HRIS has crucial organizational implications, then the study of HRIS should encompass also engineering and modelling considerations. An organizational modelling framework is put forward which contains the following propositions, also applicable to the design of HRIS from an integrated perspective: (1) Enhanced traceability of organizational agents, (2) Situated enterprise modelling, (3) Model acquisition from action repositories, (4) Capturing and modelling work practices, (5) Aligning design and execution.


  1. Ruel, H.; Magalhaes, R. : Human Resource Information Systems: an Integrated Research Agenda. Forthcoming book chapter, Elsevier Science (2008).
  2. Sawyer, R. K.: Social Emergence: societies as complex systems. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press (2005).
  3. Mingers, J. “Information, Meaning and Communication: an autopoietic approach” in F. Geyer; J. van der Zouwen (ed) Sociocybernetics: complexity, autopoiesis and observation of social systems.Westport, CT: Greenwood Press (2001).
  4. Boulding, K.E.: “General Systems Theory: the skeleton of science.” Management Science, 2: 197-208. (1956).
  5. Varela, F.J.: “Two Principles of Self-Organization,” in H. Ulrich; G.J.B. Probst (ed.), Self Organization and Management of Social Systems. N. York: Springer Verlag. (1984).
  6. Hill, W. F.: Learning: a survey of psychological interpretations. N. York: Longman (1997).
  7. Varela, F.J.; Thompson, E.; Rosch, E.: The Embodied Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (1991).
  8. Varela, F.J.: “Whence Perceptual Meaning? A Cartography of Current Ideas,” in F.J. Varela; J-P Dupuy (ed.), Understanding Origins. Dordrecht, Holland: Kluwer Academic Publishers (1992).
  9. Giddens, A.: The Constitution of Society: outline of the theory of structuration. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press (1984).
  10. Di Paolo, E.: “Autopoiesis, Adaptivity, Teleology, Agency”. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 4: 429-452 (2005).
  11. De Jaegher, H.; Di Paolo, E.: “Participatory Sensemaking: an enactive approach to social cognition”. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6: 485-507 (2007).
  12. Dignum, V.: A model for organizational interaction: based on agents, founded on logic. SIKS Dissertation Series Nº 2004-1. PhD Thesis, Utrecht University, Netherlands (2004)
  13. Liles, D.H.; Presley, A.: Enterprise modelling within an enterprise engineering framework. Winter Simulation Conference, Association for Computing Machinery), San Diego, CA, USA (1996).
  14. Hatch, M. J.; Cunliffe, A. L. Organization Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2006)
  15. Caetano, A.; Silva, A.; Tribolet, J. “Separation of concerns in object-oriented business process modeling”. 7th International Conference on Information Systems Implementation Modelling, Rožnov pod Radhoštem, Czech Republic (2004).
  16. Sakkerman, J.: How to Survive the Jungle of Enterprise Architecture. Trafford (2004)
  17. Zacarias, M. S.: A Conceptual Framework for the Alignment of Individuals and Organizations. Unpublished PhD Dissertation (submitted). Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Superior Tecnico (2008).
  18. Fuchs, C.: “Structuration Theory and Self-Organization”. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 16 (2), 133-167 (2003).

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Zacarias M., Magalhaes R. and Tribolet J. (2008). Engineering the Organization from the Bottom Up . In Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Human Resource Information Systems - Volume 1: HRIS, (ICEIS 2008) ISBN 978-989-8111-47-0, pages 97-110. DOI: 10.5220/0001744100970110

in Bibtex Style

author={Marielba Zacarias and Rodrigo Magalhaes and José Tribolet},
title={Engineering the Organization from the Bottom Up},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Human Resource Information Systems - Volume 1: HRIS, (ICEIS 2008)},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Human Resource Information Systems - Volume 1: HRIS, (ICEIS 2008)
TI - Engineering the Organization from the Bottom Up
SN - 978-989-8111-47-0
AU - Zacarias M.
AU - Magalhaes R.
AU - Tribolet J.
PY - 2008
SP - 97
EP - 110
DO - 10.5220/0001744100970110