Enterprise transformation: Why are we interested, what is it, and what are the challenges?

Valerie Purchase, Glenn Parry, Ricardo Valerdi, Deborah Nightingale, John Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The concept of enterprise transformation has become increasingly popular as companies recognize the need to achieve an integrated perspective within and across organizational boundaries to address complex challenges. Yet, there is little clarity concerning what constitutes an “enterprise” or indeed “enterprise transformation.” This article is conceived as an initial step along the journey towards this clarity. There is considerable work to be done in delineating this area of interest and this article is offered as a stimulus for debate on what constitutes enterprise transformation. Drawing on themes from the management and systems engineering disciplines, the article will propose four characteristics of “enterprise” as a unit for transformation and look at why this holistic unit of analysis has become critical to businesses. The article will also ask what constitutes transformation, and offer characterizing criteria to distinguish this magnitude of change from more incremental changes. A recent empirical case study will be examined to further elucidate challenges faced in defining, leading, and transforming multi-organizational enterprises. Finally, a near-term research agenda is outlined for the evolving discipline of enterprise transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-33
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Enterprise Transformation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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