Information Management: The Organizational Dimension

By Michael J. Earl | Go to book overview

9 Relationships Between Strategy and Business Process Reengineering: Evidence From Case Studies
MICHAEL J. EARL, JEFFREY L. SAMPLER, AND JAMES E. SHORT
Introduction
It is not unusual for management research to lag behind management practice; in some ways it is inevitable. Business Process Reengineering (BPR), it is claimed, was pioneered in a few large corporations in the 1980s ( Hammer and Champy 1993). It was first described and explained at the turn of the decade ( Davenport and Short 1990; Hammer 1990) and since then an evolving stream of research has been reported ( Caron et al. 1994; Davenport and Stoddard 1994; Grover et al. 1994). This paper reports results from case-study research on relationships between BPR, business strategy planning, and information systems (IS) planning. These questions are particularly relevant due to the rapid escalation in the size and scope of reengineering projects.Our work has been guided by the following questions:
How have business process reengineering initiatives evolved in organizations?
How has planning for BPR been integrated with strategic business planning? And with IS planning?
Is there evidence that the character, scope, and size of BPR projects depends on the degree of integration between BPR, strategic business planning, and IS planning?
To what extent has the degree of planning integration between BPR, strategic business planning, and IS affected change management policies and practices in firms undergoing BPR?

In approaching these questions we have surfaced a number of definitions of business process reengineering. Reengineering has been defined by consultants practising it as an approach to planning and controlling 'radical' organizational change. BPR has meant redesigning existing business processes and implementing new ones. 'Business processes' have been

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