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The Holonic Enterprise and Theory Emergence: On emergent features of self-organization in distributed virtual agents

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In this paper we explore the holonic enterprise as an example of the phenomenon of emergence. To conduct this exploration, we describe some of the development work now being carried out in the holonic enterprise field and examine anticipated near-future outcomes of this work. We then provide a brief overview of significant achievements and innovations such as the Copernican revolution, the development of the calculus, and the explication of conceptual analysis as a methodological consequence of the demise of the logicism project, for example. We briefly discuss the paradigm-shifting consequences of these achievements, suggesting that the holonic enterprise development work discussed in this paper as a phenomenon of emergence may have distinct parallels with such well-known innovation events. Developing a framework of 1st, 2nd and 3rd order conceptual analysis based on the demands and circumstances of unfolding technical, political and conceptual change, we then explore some implications of paradigm shifts in general, and speculate on the nature of the holonic enterprise in light of that overview. We suggest that a new 4th order of conceptual analysis may well be necessary to fully understand and embrace the concept of emergence, and finally conclude that the technical and conceptual work being done to create the holonic enterprise necessarily addresses theory emergence
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Keywords: >; Internet; analysis; conceptual; emergence; enterprise; entropy; evolution; fuzzy; holistic; holonic; multi-agent system; technology; theory; theory emergence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Director of the Emergent Information Systems Laboratory and Associate Professor of Software Engineering Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada ., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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