Business Process Reengineering

By Chamberlin, John | Management Services, Spring 2010 | Go to article overview

Business Process Reengineering


Chamberlin, John, Management Services


A retrospective look. Part two.

Empowerment

Al-Mashari and Zairi (1999) indicated that 'Empowerment' and 'People Involvement' were equally 'critical' to Business Process Reengineering's (BPR) chances of success, yet in the research referred to initially there was evidence in both LGOs of management's (some senior) reluctance to let go of their control and release the creative talents of their people, in order, as Al-Mashari and Zairi suggested, to 'Create an Effective Culture for Organisational Change'. The driving forces (Lewin, 1947) remain on the increase, and within the two collaborating LGOs there was evidence of people seeking to buck the traces of the old ways - called locally, 'City Way'* and 'County Way'* - in order to bring about some of the more 'radical' changes required, but it was difficult for the lower ranks to feel 'empowered', when the 'resisting forces' were seen as senior management.

(*ldentities concealed for reasons of confidentiality.)

Part of the 'cultural inertia' referred to was evident in the lack of strategic linking to project choice, yet, strategically, choice of project is of fundamental importance. 'Will this project take us further towards our strategic objectives?' 'Yes'? Or 'no?' In the case of the larger (23,000 FTE) of the two LGOs, with one exception, there was no real evidence that the projects in the selection studied were strongly linked to strategic objectives, yet, and importantly, selecting processes for reengineering that are in line with the organisation's strategic goals is far more likely to deliver the service improvements and waste reduction that is required.

This importance cannot be over emphasised; a major branding company was recently commissioned (albeit hypothetical Iy) to 'make Gordon Brown, and new Labour, attractive once again' (Liddle, 2008). One of the employees said: "What we would do for Labour, if they came to us, is force them to reconnect with their principles. They have to try to remember what they are for."

The owner of the company, Wally Olins, then chipped in with agreement: "They've become distracted by other things, by the process of governing, and lost the point of why they are there. They have become exhausted; the ideas have dried up. That sort of thing happens with a lot of companies."

Ideas are the life blood of innovation and change. Remembering what (you) are 'for', or 'there' for, is to 'reconnect' with your purpose, your reason for being. Effective reengineering (or process redesign or systems thinking), begins with 'reconnecting' with 'purpose'. The fundamental question is, 'Why does this process exist, and for whom?' or as Champy (1996: xiii) asks: 'Why are we doing what we are doing?'

Evidence from this research indicates that managers within these LGOs have, in some cases, become 'distracted ... by the process of governing'; or, in their cases, the maintenance of their position (eg, salary, staff numbers, budgets, 'turf', status) within that 'process of local government', which Argyris (2002: 213) called 'Model I - defensive reasoning'. This cannot be acceptable.

Strong strategic leadership is required to 'reconnect' these organisations to their reason for existence, to 'un-distract' them. In this context, this strength of leadership had not been apparent in either organisation. There was no evidence of any 'reengineering leader' who is 'a senior executive who is strongly committed to reengineering and who possesses the title and authority necessary to institute fundamental change' (Hammer and Stanton, 1995:86).

Efficacy

This highlights the other outcome of the study mentioned initially, the lack of 'effective leadership at senior level(s)'. Without effective leadership, there can be no successful change initiative. Reengineering (or process redesign, or systems thinking interventions) are, for those involved, high-risk strategies - it is oft-cited (though challenged by this research) that fewer than 30% of reengineering efforts succeed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Business Process Reengineering
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.