Organizational foundations of intelligent manufacturing systems - the holonic viewpoint

John Mathews*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


This paper demonstrates that intelligent manufacturing systems can be designed so that they form part of a larger class of technical systems which are structured along "holonic" lines. The properties of the holonic organizational architecture are brought out, and applied to the description of intelligent manufacturing systems (IMS). This brings out the fundamental organizational features of IMS structures, abstracting them from other issues to do with standardization, technical configurations or costs, and enables a clearer understanding of the sources of their superior performance over traditional, functionally structured and centralized manufacturing systems. Finally, the use of the holonic paradigm as a design tool is illustrated, with a view to further developing the organizational clarity and effectiveness of intelligent manufacturing systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalComputer Integrated Manufacturing Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • holonic system
  • intelligent manufacturing system
  • work organization


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