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A Systemic Approach for Modelling Virtual Enterprise’s Management Features

By Nikitas A. Assimakopoulos and Aggeliki D. Theodosi


In this paper we investigate essential properties of virtual enterprises and the consequent modelling requirements. Apart from that, we define agent’s autonomy. As agents in AI (Artificial Intelligence), virtual enterprises are treated as autonomous entities. Requirements are derived from two types of virtual enterprises, a repetitive and a one-of-akind production or service enterprise. A virtual enterprise model should represent properties which include the dynamics of decision-making, the negotiations among participants for the definition of autonomy, authority, beliefs and responsibilities, the mapping of organisational entities to decisional roles, the ability to identify and analyse a variety of conflict types and the existence of conflict resolution paths. These properties have to be analysed by matching enterprise-engineering tools. An ontological theory is also needed to systematise the concepts that must be supported by the protocol languages for parallel distributed planning, scheduling and control algorithms in the virtual enterprise. We are presenting an approach to this problem using systemic methodologies such as TSI (Total Systems Intervention), SAST (Strategic Assumption Surfacing & Testing), SSM (Soft Systems Methodology), and PSM (Problem Structuring Methodology) in order to decompose the enterprise to autonomous entities – and trace possible problems- and solve participants disagreements in an edifying, for the enterprise, way. A useful trial example to implement and comprehend the above methodologies is that of the virtual team of an enterprise, which offers management services to hospitals and health centers in Greece. Keywords

Year: 2011
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