This thesis explores the potential to unify three emerging disciplines: enterprise engineering,
enterprise architecture and enterprise ontology. The current fragmentation that exists in
literature on enterprise alignment and design constrains the development and growth of the
emerging disciplines. Enterprises need to use a multi-disciplinary approach when they
continuously align, design and re-design the enterprise.
Although enterprises need to be aligned internally (across various enterprise facets), as well as
externally (with the environment), most alignment approaches still focus on business-IT
alignment, i.e. aligning the business operations with the information and communication
technologies and systems of the enterprise. This study focuses on a popular business-IT
alignment approach, called the foundation for execution approach, and its associated artefact,
called the operating model. The study acknowledges the theoretical contribution of the
operating model to establish the required level of business process integration and
standardisation at an enterprise in delivering goods and services to customers. Highlighting the
practical problems in selecting an operating model for an enterprise, and more specifically the
practical problems of identifying process reuse potential at an enterprise, a thesis statement is
formulated: The operating model concept, as part of a business-IT alignment approach, can be
enhanced with a process reuse identification framework, when a business-IT alignment
contextua/isation is used.
The study is divided into two research questions. The first research question addresses the
current fragmentation that exists in the literature, which impairs reuse of the existing business-IT
alignment knowledge base. An inductive literature review develops the Business-IT Alignment
Model to provide a common contextualisation for current business-IT alignment approaches.
The second research question addresses the practical problems of the operating model
regarding the identification of process reuse potential at an enterprise. Applying the newly
developed Business-IT Alignment Model as a contextualisation instrument, the study
demonstrates the use of design research in developing the Process Reuse Identification
The conclusion after the investigation of the two research questions is that the thesis statement
was confirmed, i.e. the operating model concept, as part of a business-IT alignment approach,
can be enhanced with a process reuse identification framework, when a business-IT
contextualisation is used.