In the scope of corporations, information and knowledge management are essential practices that are carried out through information systems. In this chapter, we discuss the foundations of an ontological-based architecture for organizing information and knowledge within corporations. Our research focus on three main efforts: (i) to shed some light on the ontological status of corporations, (ii) to understand the relations between corporate units, and (iii) to approach the duties that corporations have to manage. After presenting background theories, we analyze the corporation through two dimensions, namely, a descriptive and a normative. While the former approaches the structure of the corporation from the point of view of its units, the latter approaches it from the point of view of duties and obligations. The descriptive side of our investigation is conducted through principles of top-level formal ontologies; the normative side is addressed through the so-called social ontology. The relevance of developing such analysis rests on the need of a better understanding of corporations, its structures, and its activities. Such insight can provide a formal framework suitable to be applied in information systems, working in the context of modern technologies like the Semantic Web.
Part of the book: Ontology in Information Science