The preface provides a brief background of the thesis, a reader's guide and acknowledgments.

Thesis Background

The thesis before you has been submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the doctoral degree "doktor ingeniør" at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim.

The research project has been conducted under the supervision of Professor Dr. Reidar Conradi, Department of Computer and Information Science, during the years 1993-1997. Financing for the work has been provided in form of a three-year scholarship from the Research Council of Norway through the Caesar Offshore program, and an additional one-year scholarship from Program on Applied Coordination Technology (PAKT), NTNU. My office has mainly been at PAKT, where Professor Tor G. Syvertsen has acted as my advisor.

PAKT is a five year cross-disciplinary research program at NTNU running from 1993 to 1997 and with funding from Statoil, Telenor Research & Development, and NTNU. The program has brought together students with interests and backgrounds from sociology, organization sciences, computer science, and classical engineering disciplines, and has focussed on research topics that are of immediate industrial interest. Consequently, even if this thesis has been written at Department of Computer and Information Science, my research has been enriched and nurtured by ideas normally associated with the social sciences.

A Reader's Guide

A few aids to improve readability of the thesis are introduced. The aids pertain to layout (i.e., fonts, frames and backgrounds), structure (i.e., parts and chapters) and contents (i.e., summaries, examples and reflections).

The thesis is structured as five parts, each with a dedicated theme. The purpose, contents and intended outcome of each part is presented on separate parts pages.

Each chapter starts with a rationale outlining the themes from previous chapters, contents of the current chapter, and the main outcome of the chapter. It is closed by concluding remarks, reflecting upon the most prominent issues discussed in the chapter or their relevance for issues presented otherwise. In addition, a chapter usually has an introductory section outlining how the rest of the chapter is structured. Structuring generally depends upon theme of the chapter.

Concerning layout, the text is formatted as follows (default font is Palatino, 11 pt):

"Citations are indented, enclosed in quotes and printed with font Century Schoolbook, 10 pt. Page number of the source is provided with the reference whenever appropriate."
Examples for illustrative purposes or reflections upon the presentation are printed on light gray background, with font Book Antiqua, 10 pt.

Terms intended to be stressed are usually emphasized using italics.

In chapter 7, a series of assertions are made. These are in italics and enclosed in a frame that is indented relative to both left and right margins. The font used for assertions is Arial 10 pt.


The research project reported in this thesis would not have been possible without the generous help of many persons, of which I am grateful and wish to express my gratitude. If I seem to have forgotten someone, please blame that on my forgetfulness, not lack of gratitude.

Professor Dr. Reidar Conradi at Department of Computer and Information Science has been my supervisor, keeping me on the track for four years. Most of all I want to thank you for allowing me to investigate ideas that from the outset seemed a bit far fetched, but in the end turned out to be valuable contributions to the thesis. Thanks!

Professor Tor G. Syvertsen, program leader at PAKT and also my advisor, also deserves thanks for many reasons: First, for initiating PAKT and hiring me in 1993, and thereby allowing me to conduct this study. Then for the frequent and always inspiring discussions on themes spanning from the concept of "nothing" to the construction of time machines. Finally, for being more of a friend than a boss from the first time I met you in 1991.

Having spent most of my time at the PAKT house in Øvre Alle 11, I have had the pleasure of both working and socializing with a number of creative and inspiring people, including both students and administrative personnel. PAKT has been a crucible of opposing streams and ideas, and has taught me that there are many ways to approach (and identify) a problem. Thanks to all the PAKT people for providing an inspiring environment to work in.

I would also like to thank my fellow doctoral students at the department for both inspiring professional discussions and for socializing. An extra acknowledgement to Geir Magne Høydalsvik, Jens-Otto Larsen, Sivert Sørumgård and Sigurd Thunem for discussions on life in general and research in particular. Thanks also to Lisbeth Vågan for taking care of all the administrative particularities when submitting the thesis.

The research reported in this thesis could neither have been carried out without help from the numerous persons I met during my field work. I am deeply grateful and heavily indebted to all the people helping me out in Statoil. A particular thanks go to Jan Onarheim at Statoil F&U/GFT/KOT for being the door-opener to projects, and for offering me an office so I could work at the Statoil R&D center when required.

A cordial thanks to the people at KOT, to Bjørn Berger and Otto Skovholt, to all participants in the technology strategy project, to the people at Kårstø and in the VPT project, and all the others I have met as a part of my inquiries in the Statoil organization. It takes courage to allow someone external to follow projects so intimately as I have had the opportunity to. I am deeply grateful to the project leaders and all participants that accepted me and my role within the projects, allowing me to take part in any activity whatsoever. I did not encounter a negative answer in any of my requests for information within the projects.

I would also like to express my gratitude to NCR METIS Solutions for providing both software and advice for my initial fumbling with software tools for enterprise modeling. DNV Research also deserves acknowledgments for providing me with an office and welcoming me into a good professional atmosphere at my initial two-month stay there in the summer of 1993.

Funding for the research project has been provided by the Research Council of Norway via the Caesar Offshore program (three years) and from PAKT (one year). I have also received a scholarship for traveling from NTNU (previously NTH).

The above acknowledgements all concern people who have helped me directly in my research project but life is certainly more than work. A cordial thanks to my friends at Breiflabben Pub & Slarvhus for cheering me up and giving me a wider outlook on life. Also thanks to my mother and father who have always encouraged and supported me in my efforts, whatever they might have been. This thesis has also been enabled by your support.

Trondheim, August 29, 1997.

Terje Totland