Business & Information Systems Engineering

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 213–231 | Cite as

The Role of Gender in Business Process Management Competence Supply

  • Elena GorbachevaEmail author
  • Armin Stein
  • Theresa Schmiedel
  • Oliver Müller
Research Paper


While Business Process Management (BPM) was originally focused on Information Technology as a key factor driving the efficiency and effectiveness of organizational processes, there is now a growing consensus among practitioners and academics that BPM represents a holistic management approach that also takes such factors as corporate governance, human capital, and organizational culture into account. Studies show that the BPM practice faces a shortage of competence supply that stems from a shortage of qualified BPM professionals. At the same time, there is a distinct underrepresentation of women in technology-related fields; it has been suggested that gender stereotypes are one of the reasons for this underrepresentation. The goal of this research paper is, thus, to better understand the role of gender in the BPM competences supply. In this study 10,405 LinkedIn profiles of BPM professionals were analyzed using a text mining technique called Latent Semantic Analysis. Twelve distinct categories of supplied BPM competences were identified and it was investigated how far gender biases exist among BPM professionals. The nature of BPM-related competences is discussed, together with the differences in their presentation by male and female professionals, which indicate potential existence of gender stereotypes. Further, it is discussed how the apparent underrepresentation of women among BPM professionals can be addressed to close the competence gap in the field. The study contributes to both the call for research on human capital in the BPM field, and the calls for research on gender and gender stereotypes in technology-related fields.


Business process management Competences Skills Latent semantic analysis Text mining Gender diversity BPM workforce 



This work is part of a project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant agreement No 645751. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission. We gratefully acknowledge the support of Ms. Megha Anand during the data collection process.

Supplementary material

12599_2016_428_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (132 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 131 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Gorbacheva
    • 1
    Email author
  • Armin Stein
    • 1
  • Theresa Schmiedel
    • 2
  • Oliver Müller
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Münster, ERCISMünsterGermany
  2. 2.University of LiechtensteinVaduzLiechtenstein

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