Enterprise Philosophy

The Global University Alliance (GUA) is an open group of academics with the ambition to provide both business and academia with new insights and research. Through its ties with the LEADing Practice community, which includes large firms and governments, the GUA is able to evaluate and valorize its scientific output. Since 2004, the members of the GUA strive for a continuous improvement of their expertise through the research, comparison, analysis and development of Best and LEADing Practices in Business. Throughout this process the GUA built its own implicit Enterprise Philosophy Reference Framework that revolves around its expertise of Best and LEADing practices.

As Enterprise Philosophy considers the prismatic fundamental principles that underlie the formation and operation of a business enterprise; the nature and purpose of a business, for example, is it primarily property or a social institution; its role in society or the accrued function concerning collective consciousness; and the moral obligations that pertain to it because every must or need, and any desire, is the creator of a more or less necessary illusion which has to be liquidated. The subject is important to business and management, and is closely related to business ethics and political economy; to the forms of opposition and their intermediation, be it contrariety, contradiction or polarity & antonym. It is influenced significantly by philosophy, ethics, logic and economic theory.

In the Global University Alliance we draw an important distinction between the philosophy of business and business philosophy, which is an appellation that one often hears in the business world. More often than not, the latter designation is intended to denote a way of doing business or a business outlook, a popular use of the term philosophy, instead of its more formal, academic meaning, using the concepts and methods employed or should be by philosophers. The latter meaning applies to the enterprise philosophy. The phrase philosophy of business also might be used in the same way as business philosophy, for example, “Risk taking represents my philosophy of business.” However, this is not the same sense that philosophy is used in the Global University Alliance Enterprise Philosophy research and analysis. Despite the fact that business touches nearly every aspect of our lives, and especially those which might to come & alter from the Now, few thinkers have shown an interest in it from a rules or philosophical perspective until relatively recently. Indeed, few philosophers can be said to have paid much attention to the business enterprise, itself, prior to the latter part of the 20th century.

Many philosophers tended to look askance and doubtful at commercial money making activities, believing, as Plato did, that only the worst sort of people are involved in such matters. Plato is not unlike many academics throughout history, even today, who tend to think of un-reigned business as a necessary evil in society, and not as something worthy of serious philosophical consideration. It was Aristotle, who coupled it with the human nature inclined to overstatement and the need for political observation in contraposition to modesty. He still was not fully aware of the market (Polyani).

The topologies of the markets, however, resonate on the background of the very dimensions of businesses, as well as on those of consumers, non-clients, share- versus concerned people and, not at least, the political or otherwise responsibles. What sometimes is called the torsion forces of the markets, has reasonable causes within the groups of investors and business as distributors of products, otherwise nearly one-to-one reflexes on the consciousness of consumers and everyone. The incorporated intelligence mankind is fond of acknowledging against millennia of development, and in particular the last revolutions appertaining to electricity and information technology, is exposed to the extremities of the “unlimited power of employees” versus those of fund-raisers and capital-producers.

Hence the need for Enterprise Philosophy in order to:

  1. overcome common sensing insofar it depends from mere trial-and-error;
  2. help other science to find solutions against false indifference, ineffective neutralizing instead of providing positive impulse; and
  3. understand what negation is and how its doubling really might fulfill the equation.

Some of the most frequently discussed topics are the matters of:

  1. Organization and Environment balance and adjustment
  2. Business Model: External drivers and organizational design. The conditions of an organization’s immediate environment. The relationship between the structural characteristics of complex organizations.
  3. Resource Management: Topological emergence and the clouding of organizational resources against common
  4. Business Culture and Ethics: Ethics and business – the normative aspects.
  5. Value & Performance Management: Organizational behavior: self-understanding and the filling of nods versus gaps.
  6. Business Rules:  which rule are applied, where and why.
  7. Business Process Management: How can an enterprise function with all its tasks and activities in society as a whole.
  8. Service Orientation:  The service construct and complexity delivered internal and external.
  9. Information Management:  which information is used, where and why.
  10. Measurement & Reporting: which measurements (KPIs, PPIs, SPIs) are used in the different decisions and reporting mechanisms (cockpits, dashboards and scorecards).
  11. Mergers & Acquisitions: Why the merging of organization is more profitable than leaving it to the periphery (or otherwise).
  12. Enterprise Governance: What the intersection of horizons tell in relation to governance.
  13. Business Innovation & Transformation: Enablement of Organizational renewal, rethinking as well as  improvement and change in a complex environment.

The Enterprise Philosophy workgroup within the Global University Alliance, has adopted the concept of holistic Enterprise Philosophy Frameworks, as it identified the necessity of introducing such a framework into today’s enterprises through the LEADing practice community. The Enterprise Philosophy Reference Framework should promote new ways of thinking, working and modelling around reacting to external drivers, align one’s business model, value modelling through the use of Enterprise Philosophy. The Enterprise Philosophy concepts in the framework should provide sound foundations for Best and LEADing Practices in different domains (e.g. strategy, business model, process, service, value, information). The concepts and practices will be shared and published as an open standard in the LEADing Practice community. Thereby enabling all academics and practitioners in the community to build on common leading principles to identify, create and realize value, competitive advantage and agility to deal with future challenges.

To realize this vision, the GUA alliance reaches out to all business and Enterprise Philosophy researcher to contribute to the consolidation of academic findings in a research-based Enterprise Philosophy Framework that can be used by industries and universities alike. As the GUA considers dissemination and valorization of research as its core tasks, the Enterprise Philosophy Framework should provide the foundations for an Enterprise Philosophy university curriculum at both Bachelor and Master level, in which the core concepts of Enterprise Philosophy and all relevant to business design are incorporated. If you are interested in or would like to contribute to the Enterprise Philosophy Framework, do not hesitate to contact the coordinator.

Research Coordinator:
Professor Sander Wilkins
TU Berlin, Germany

LEADing Practice Enterprise Standard Development Coordinator:
Mona von Rosing
Business Analyst

LEADing Practice Coordinator:
Georg Etzel
LEADing Practice, Co-CEO

The members involved in this work have been a team that includes academics, researchers and analysts:

  • Business Ontology, Professor Wim Laurier
  • Enterprise Semantics, Professor Simon Polovina
  • Information Management, Professor Hans Scheruhn
  • Value & Performance Management, Maria Hove
  • Enterprise Sustainability, Professor David Coloma
  • Enterprise Engineering, Professor Maxim Arzumanyan
  • Enterprise Modelling, Ulrik Foldager
  • Measurement & Reporting, Ulrik Foldager