Exploring Enterprise Transformation from a Path Dependence Perspective: A Recycling Case and Conceptual Model

Daniel Fürstenau, Natalia Kliewer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In dispersed, multinational enterprises, complex integrations of information systems are a commonly hated threat as they render difficult fundamental changes of IT structures and standards embedded therein. This paper explores how integrations can turn into a burden and how thereby a company's technology platform can lock-in to a local optimum. We conceptualize information system architectures - a company's set of information systems and integrations - as networks. Based thereupon, we suggest a network model of path building that formalizes architectural growth processes and on-top technology adoptions, as when new systems attach preferentially to important hubs. Agent-based simulations give insights into how different growth parameters, i.e. new systems' degree of integration and preferentiality, increase the architecture's complexity and can reinforce predominant architectural patterns, such as "islands of shared technologies". We contrast the simulation results to empirical data that show the emergence of a fragmented IT landscape in a regionally-dispersed recycling
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings der 12. Internationalen Tagung Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI 2015)
EditorsOliver Thomas, Frank Teuteberg
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2015
ISBN (Electronic)9783000491849
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event12th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik. WI 2015 - Universität Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany
Duration: 4 Mar 20156 Mar 2015
Conference number: 12


Conference12th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik. WI 2015
LocationUniversität Osnabrück
Internet address
SeriesWirtschaftsinformatik Proceedings


  • EA modeling and simulation
  • Network analysis
  • Enterprise transformation
  • Path dependence
  • EA visualization

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