Workshop: Identity, Structural Coupling and Fractal Enterprise Model

Identity and Structural Coupling

Saying, such as, “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell who you are” or “Tell me who your enemy is, and I will tell you who you are” presume that a person’s identity could be derived from the person’s environment. Can the same be done for defining organizational identity?

According to Patrick Hoverstadt, it can be done by exploiting the concept of structural coupling that comes from biological cybernetic, more exactly from the works of Maturana and Varela. The concept means that tightly interconnected systems adjust to each other in the course of mutual evolution. Based on this concept, organizational identity is defined as a set of structural couplings the organization has in the external world, while identity management equals to maintaining these couplings. In the organizational world, an organization can be structurally coupled to markets, partners, customers, or regulators. In this workshop, we will show how using Fractal Enterprise Model (FEM) can help to identify and maintain structural couplings of an organization.


The workshop is planned as consisting of two parts: Presentation and an Exercise:

  • In the presentation, we first introduce Fractal Enterprise Model, and then demonstrate on an example how it can be used for defining and managing organizational identity.
  • In the exercise, the participants are divided into small groups in Zoom break rooms. Each group will try to define an organizational identity for a case given to them in a text form + a FEM model of its current activities. After the exercise, the groups come together and present their findings to each other.

The participation is free, but you need to register using this form.