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Business process research: a cross‐disciplinary review

Anna Sidorova (College of Business, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Oyku Isik (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Operations and Technology Management Center, Leuven, Belgium)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 27 July 2010




The paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of business processes (BPs) literature by identifying and discussing key BP‐related research themes and suggesting directions for future research.


Latent semantic analysis was used to analyze the abstracts of academic articles related to BP. Over 2,700 articles that use the term “business process (BP)” in their title, abstract or keywords were identified through electronic journals database EBSCOHost and examined.


The results clearly indicate growing interest in BP research during the past 20 years. The key research themes can be classified into core and associated BP research. Core BP research deals with four cornerstones of BP change: BP design, information technology, BP implementation, and ongoing BP management. The associated BP research lies on the intersection of BP and other research areas such as total quality management, supply chain management, e‐commerce, etc.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need to focus future research efforts on understanding the inter‐relationships among the four identified cornerstones of BP change. There is also a need for more inter‐disciplinary BP research and integration of BP‐related organizational practices.


The review offers a cross‐disciplinary perspective on BP research. The proposed framework can be used to identify directions for future research and practice.



Sidorova, A. and Isik, O. (2010), "Business process research: a cross‐disciplinary review", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 566-597.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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