Creating A New University Through Object Oriented Enterprise Modeling: A Study of Communications Knowledge Management Distributed Cognition

Armando A Arias, Beryl L Bellman

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Enterprise based object oriented (OO) and Unified Modeling Language (UML) modeling makes it possible to build the needed visual environments to organize people, technologies and activities (Arias, 1999d). In our modeling approach, the focus is on "things and relationships between things" described in commonly used terms. The modeling software bridges the so-called "semantic gap" between the people and the computer language (Booch, Rumbaugh & Jacobson, 1999). An object can be a product, a process, a person, a team, a company, an application or the inter-relationship between other objects. Objects can be pictured on the screen as maps formed by personalized “icons” with their relationships. Once a “map” of objects has been produced, users can navigate and visualize very complex relationships. Objects can hold data, such as cost, schedule data, weight and other relevant information (Zack & Serino, 1996). Another important property of an Object is its ability to perform work scripted in “methods.” Thus an Object can be given the capability to perform functions, such as performing computations, gathering data from other computers, showing video of servicing a part or accessing a 3D-CAD drawing for viewing. This “active model” is much more than a map for navigation in an abstract process model (Arias, 1999a). It becomes the actual work environment for individuals and teams. It creates an occasioned environment for learning, assessing issues and impacts, communication, configuration management and control and more. In short, it is the user interface or “ control center” from where to manage the organization (whether it be an institution of higher education or a corporation). UML technology allows us to model a complex enterprise, while OO technology builds on the former and generates complex applications. The point at which these two technologies meet becomes the intersection that enables planners and stakeholders to develop a new paradigm for looking not only at their organization, but also at precisely what their contributions are to the overall enterprise (Arias, 1998). In this paper we will present the use and design of object oriented enterprise computer models (OO) for the purposes of creating and/or transforming organizations. We will also provide proof of concept on how OO contributes to the reshaping of relationships among people and their organizations and, also, how OO can transform the processes of discovery, learning, research and communication through emerging forms of distributed cognition (Arias & Bellman, 1995).

Original languageAmerican English
JournalProceedings for the International Enterprise Knowledge Association
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • object oriented enterprise computer modeling
  • OO
  • Unified Modeling Language
  • UML
  • semantic gap
  • communications knowledge management
  • distributed cognition
  • Fort Ord
  • California State University Monterey Bay


  • Communication
  • Computer Sciences
  • Education
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

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