Re‐engineering is the latest in a long line of performance improvement programmes with which US industry has experimented during the last decade. The radical approach taken by re‐engineering is the main characteristic setting it apart from any of its predecessors. Re‐engineering is based on the premiss that the best way for a corporation to make significant improvements is to take a clean sheet of paper and ask itself “if I were to start this company over from the beginning, what would I do?” Now, two years after the introduction of this unusual approach, many corporations are finding their efforts have failed. By analysing these case studies, several key topics have arisen which explain why some organizations have completed their re‐engineering programmes without meeting their expectations. First discusses re‐engineering in detail, and then addresses several of these recent developments.
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