The Governance of Business Processes

  • M. Lynne MarkusEmail author
  • Dax D. Jacobson
Part of the International Handbooks on Information Systems book series (INFOSYS)


Good business process governance is necessary for the success of business processes, which in turn are essential for business success. The term business process governance refers to the direction, coordination, and control of individuals, groups, or organizations that are at least to some extent autonomous, meaning that hierarchical authority alone is not sufficient to ensure effective performance. Business process governance, whether within or across organizational entities comprises a variety of mechanisms, including organizational structures (roles and units for performing and coordinating process activities), allocations of decision making authority, and procedures (e.g., review and approval processes). Governance mechanisms may be formal (i.e., formalized in writing or in law) or informal (e.g., not mandated). All governance mechanisms have pros and cons; some mechanisms are more effective (but also more costly) than others. The challenge is to design a cost-effective governance regime, which usually consists of designing several less costly mechanisms to work in combination. This chapter describes various governance mechanisms, identifies their advantages and disadvantages, and provides examples that show how governance mechanisms can contribute to improved business process performance.


Business Process Emergency Medication Service Governance Mechanism Service Level Agreement Business Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under award number SES-0964909.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information and Process Management Department at Bentley UniversityWalthamUSA
  2. 2.California State University Channel Islands MVS School of Business & EconomicsCamarilloUSA

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