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Re: Organization ontology

From: Dave Reynolds <dave.e.reynolds@googlemail.com>
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2010 09:09:46 +0100
To: "Stuart A. Yeates" <syeates@gmail.com>
Cc: Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, public-egov-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <1275466186.1637.18.camel@dave-desktop>
On Wed, 2010-06-02 at 17:06 +1200, Stuart A. Yeates wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 7:50 PM, Dave Reynolds
> <dave.e.reynolds@googlemail.com> wrote:
> > We would like to announce the availability of an ontology for description of
> > organizational structures including government organizations.
> >
> > This was motivated by the needs of the data.gov.uk project. After some
> > checking we were unable to find an existing ontology that precisely met our
> > needs and so developed this generic core, intended to be extensible to
> > particular domains of use.
> >
> > [1] http://www.epimorphics.com/public/vocabulary/org.html
> 
> I think this is great, but I'm a little worried that a number of
> Western (and specifically Westminister) assumptions may have been
> built into it.

Interesting. We tried to keep the ontology reasonably neutral, that's
why, for example, there is no notion of a Government or Corporation.

Could you say a little more about the specific Western & Westminster
assumptions that you feel are built into it?

We do have the notion of a "Head" role and corresponding "headOf"
relation (because it is such a common notion and part of our competency
questions) but there are no cardinality constraints and no requirement
that any specific organizational structure support that role.

> What would be great would be to see a handful of different
> organisations (or portions of them) from different traditions
> modelled. Maybe:
> * The tripartite system at the top of US government, which seems
> pretty complex to me, with former Presidents apparently retaining some
> control after they leave office

Control is a different issue from organizational structure. This
ontology is not designed to support reasoning about authority and
governance models. There are Enterprise Ontologies that explicitly model
authority, accountability and empowerment flows and it would be possible
to create a generic one which bolted alongside org but org is not such a
beast :)

Dave
Received on Wednesday, 2 June 2010 08:10:22 GMT

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