From Bureaucratic to Quasi-market Environments: On the Co-evolution of Public Sector Business Process Management

  • Bjoern Niehaves
  • Ralf Plattfaut
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6228)


Business Process Management (BPM) can be viewed as a set of techniques to integrate, build, and reconfigure an organization’s business processes for the purpose achieving a fit with the market environment. While business processes are rather stable in low-dynamic markets, the frequency, quality, and importance of process change amplifies with an increase in environmental dynamics. We show that existing designs of public sector BPM might not be able to cope with the mounting frequency and quality of business process change. Our qualitative in-depth case study of a local government suggests that a major cause for such misfit lies in ineffective organizational learning. We contribute to the literature by applying the Dynamic Capability framework to public sector BPM in order to better understand shifts in market dynamics and their consequences for BPM effectiveness. Practitioners find a proposal for identifying, understanding, and reacting to a BPM-misfit and for developing effective BPM strategies.


Public Sector Business Process Management Dynamic Capabilities Resource-Based View Qualitative Study 


  1. 1.
    Amit, R., Shoemaker, P.J.H.: Strategic Assets and Organizational Rent. Strategic Management Journal 14(1), 33–46 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Becker, J., Algermissen, L., Niehaves, B.: A procedure model for process oriented e-government projects. Business Process Management Journal 12(1), 61–75 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Christensen, T., Lægreid, P.: Transcending new public management: the transformation of public sector reforms. Ashgate Publishing (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Corbitt, G.F., Christopolus, M., Wright, L.: New Approaches to Business Process Redesign - A Case Study of Collaborative Group Technology and Service Mapping. Group Decision and Negotiation 9(2), 97–107 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Davenport, T.H.: Need radical innovation and continuous improvement? Integrate process reengineering and TQM, Planning Review 21(3), 6–12 (1993)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    De Bruyn, B., Gelders, L.: From TQM to BPR – Two case studies in personnel administration. International Journal of Production Economics 50(2-3), 169–181 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dunleavy, P., Hood, C.: From old public administration to new public management. Public Money & Management 14(3), 9–16 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Eisenhardt, K.M., Martin, J.A.: Dynamic Capabilities: What are they? Strategic Management Journal 21(4), 1105–1121 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ferlie, E., Pettigrew, A., Ashburner, L., Fithgerald, L.: The New Public Management in Action. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gulledge, T.R., Sommer, R.A.: Business process management: public sector implications. Business Process Management Journal 8(4), 364–376 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Harrison, D.B., Pratt, M.D.: A methodology for reengineering businesses. Planning Review 21(2), 6–11 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Harvey, G., Skelcher, C., Spencer, E., Jas, P., Walshe, K.: Absorptive capacity in a Non-Market Environment: A knowledge-based approach to analyzing the performance of sector organizations. Public Management Review 12(1), 77–97 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Helfat, C.E., Peteraf, M.A.: The Dynamic Recource-Based View: Capability Lifecycles. Strategic Management Journal 24, 997–1010 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hung, R.Y.-Y.: Business Process Management as Competitive Advantage: A Review and Empirical Study. Total Quality Management 17(1), 21–40 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Irani, Z., Elliman, T., Jackson, P.: Electronic transformation of government in the U.K.: a research agenda. European Journal of Information Systems 16(4), 327–335 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jick, T.D.: Mixing qualitative and quantitative methods: triangulation in action. Administrative Science Quarterly 24, 602–611 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kern, T., Willcocks, L.: Exploring relationships in information technology outsourcing: the interaction approach. European Journal of Information Systems 11(1), 3–19 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kettinger, W.J., Teng, J.T.C., Guha, S.: Business Process Change – A Study of Methodologies, Techniques, and Tools. MIS Quarterly 21(1), 55–80 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Klievink, B., Janssen, M.: Realizing joined-up government - Dynamic capabilities and stage models for transformation. Government Information Quarterly 26(2), 275–284 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kubicek, H., Millard, J., Westholm, H.: Methodology for Analysing the Relationship between the Reorganisation of the Back Office and Better Electronic Public Services. In: Traunmüller, R. (ed.) EGOV 2003. LNCS, vol. 2739, pp. 199–206. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lyytinen, K., Newman, M.: Explaining Information Systems Change: A Punctuated Socio-Technical Change Model. European Journal of Information Systems 17(4), 589–613 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mingers, J.: The paucity of multimethod research: a review of the information systems literature. Information Systems Journal 13(3), 233–249 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Myers, M.D.: Qualitative Research in Information Systems. MIS Quarterly 21(2), 241–242 (2008)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Niehaves, B., Malsch, R.: Democratizing Process Innovation? On Citizen Involvement in Public Sector BPM. In: Wimmer, M.A. (ed.) EGOV 2009. LNCS, vol. 5693, pp. 245–256. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Palkovits, S., Wimmer, M.: Processes in e-Government - A Holistic Framework for Modelling Electronic Public Services. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on E-Government, Prague, Czech Republic (2003)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Peppard, J., Fitzgerald, D.: The transfer of culturally-grounded management techniques: the case of business process reengineering in Germany. European Management Journal 15(4), 446–460 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Pollitt, C., Bouckaert, G.: Public management reform: a comparative analysis, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2004)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rosemann, M., de Bruin, T., Power, B.: A model to measure business process management maturity and improve performance. In: Jeston, J., Nelis, J. (eds.) Business Process Management, pp. 299–315. Butterworth Heinemann, Burlington (2006)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Salganik, M.J., Heckathorn, D.D.: Sampling and Estimation in Hidden Populations Using Respondent-Driven Sampling. Sociological Methodology 34(1), 193–240 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sarker, S., Sarker, S., Sidorova, A.: Understanding business process change failure: An actor-network perspective. Journal of Management Information Systems 23(1), 51–86 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Scholl, H.J.: The dimensions of business process change in electronic government. In: Huang, W., Siau, K., Wei, K.K. (eds.) Electronic government strategies and implementation, pp. 44–67. Idea Group Pub., Hershey (2004)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Scholl, H.J., Fidel, R., Liu, S.M., Paulsmeyer, M., Unsworth, K.: E-Government Field Force Automation: Promises, Challenges, and Stakeholders. In: Wimmer, M.A., Scholl, J., Grönlund, Å. (eds.) EGOV. LNCS, vol. 4656, pp. 127–142. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Stohr, E.A., Zhao, J.L.: Workflow automation: Overview and research issues. Information Systems Frontiers 3(3), 281–296 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Tarafdar, M., Gordon, S.R.: Understanding the Influence of Information Systems Competencies on Process Innovation: A Resource-Based View. Journal of Strategic Information Systems 16(4), 353–392 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Teece, D.J., Pisano, G., Shuen, A.: Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management. Strategic Management Journal 18(7), 509–533 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Traunmüller, R., Wimmer, M.: Directions in E-Government: Processes, Portals, Knowledge. In: Proceedings of the International Workshop On the Way to Electronic Government in Conjunction with DEXA, Munich, Germany, September 3-7, pp. 313–317. IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos (2001)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Wade, M., Hulland, J.: Review: The Resource-Based View and Information Systems Research: Review. Extension and Suggestions for Future Research, MIS Quarterly 28(1), 107–142 (2004)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Weber, I., Sure, Y.: Towards an Implementation of the EU Services Directive with Semantic Web Services. In: 12th International Conference on Business Information Systems, Poznan, Poland, pp. 217–227 (2009)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Wernerfelt, B.: A resource-based view of the firm. Strategic Management Journal 5(2), 171–180 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Winter, S.G.: Understanding Dynamic Capabilities. Strategic Management Journal 24(7), 991–995 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Yin, R.K.: Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Sage Publications, London (2003)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Zairi, M.: Business process management: a boundaryless approach to modern competitiveness. Business Process Management Journal 3(1), 64–80 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Zollo, M., Winter, S.G.: Deliberate learning and the evolution of dynamic capabilities. Organization Science 13(3), 339–351 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjoern Niehaves
    • 1
  • Ralf Plattfaut
    • 1
  1. 1.European Research Center for Information SystemsWestfälische Wilhelms-Universität MünsterMünster

Personalised recommendations