Complexity: Partial Support for BPR?

  • E. Mitleton-Kelly


If organisations can be said to thrive and become more innovative when pushed far from equilibrium [5, 7], then business process re-engineering (BPR) may be seen as a means of creating these conditions. However, BPR often disregards the consequences of massive disruption in connectivity and tends to restrict emergence and self-organisation. The new engineered or designed structure may provide a new framework, but it does not encourage exploration, learning and evolution. Neither does it support divergence and variety, which are essential elements in enabling the emergence of new behaviours and ways of working. BPR, by relying on designing and controlling both the process and the outcome, blocks emergence and thus disables one of its key objectives: the creation of a new way of working.


Partial Support Human System Dissipative Structure Fitness Landscape Complex Adaptive System 
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© Springer-Verlag London 2000

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  • E. Mitleton-Kelly

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