Business Process Re-engineering and Organizational Change

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) is the process of restructuring the organizational design from the ground-up. It stresses the importance of full-scale recreation of the processes instead of numerous and often continuous optimization of sub-processes. To avoid repetition, one may have a brief introduction in the idea of BPR from the Wikipedia.

Despite of usefulness of the BPR, there were some concerns. In his revision of the Socio-Technical System theory, Clegg (2000) has proposed the 8th principle – core processes should be integrated. The idea of the principle is that “organizations can be viewed as comprising a number of core processes that typically cut laterally across different functions. This contrasts with the more traditional view that organizations comprise sets of expertise-based specialisms that are organized vertically.” Here, Clegg also regretfully mentions the devaluation of application of the principle by the BPR approach in the context of the organizational system design.

This brings to a thought that there is more to what organizations can be than what BPR has to offer. Despite of being a useful tool, it should find its application with consideration of its limitations.

Clegg, C. W. (2000). Sociotechnical principles for system design. Applied Ergonomics, 31(5), 463–477.