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Re: Organization ontology

From: Kendall Clark <kendall@clarkparsia.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2010 09:18:24 -0400
Message-ID: <AANLkTim9mDb5c7hdUc-yDqLiIWlswbMuYhfyvBaM1ZGx@mail.gmail.com>
To: Dave Reynolds <dave.e.reynolds@googlemail.com>
Cc: "Stuart A. Yeates" <syeates@gmail.com>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, public-egov-ig@w3.org
To give some different perspective, I don't believe that any of those
issues w/r/t to other governance models impinge on the quality or
utility of this organization ontology whatever. Does it accurately
depict every possible scenario? Not at all. Is it adequate for the use
cases and requirements it was set out to achieve? It certainly appears
that way.

Further, governance is -- as Dave points out -- in some ways
orthogonal to organizational structure (so, in some sense this is
*not* true, in that some org structures prohibit or inhibit some
control models, and vice versa, but that only matters here if it does,
and I claim that it doesn't).

This is -- as I said on Twitter last week -- outstanding work and we
will be adopting & adapting it in our work at NASA and other fed govt
customers.

Cheers,
Kendall Clark

On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 4:09 AM, Dave Reynolds
<dave.e.reynolds@googlemail.com> wrote:
> 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 13:19:24 UTC

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