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Empirical research in business process management – analysis of an emerging field of research

Constantin Houy (Institute for Information Systems (IWi), German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Saarbruecken, Germany)
Peter Fettke (Institute for Information Systems (IWi), German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Saarbruecken, Germany)
Peter Loos (Institute for Information Systems (IWi), German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Saarbruecken, Germany)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 27 July 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims at providing a survey of the development of empirical research in business process management (BPM). It seeks to study trends in empirical BPM research and applied methodologies by means of a developed framework in order to identify the status quo and to assess the probable future development of the research field.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to analyse the development of the research field a systematic literature review of empirical journal articles in the BPM context is conducted. The retrieved literature is analyzed by means of scientometric methods and a developed reference framework.

Findings

The steadily growing number of published articles in empirical BPM research shows an increase in interest in the research field. Research interests, applied methodologies, the underlying research paradigm and the level of maturity of empirical BPM research differ depending on regional aspects. BPM gains importance in the industry as well as in the public administration context.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based on a sample of 355 articles and not on an exhaustive amount of available empirical research contributions. Nevertheless, significant analyses can be conducted. Future research could apply the developed reference framework for further literature reviews in order to be able to compare the findings and to measure progress.

Originality/value

The presented literature review gives an overview of trends in empirical BPM research. The developed and strictly applied reference framework supports a systematic analysis of contributions and can thus draw a significant picture of the state‐of‐the‐art of the research field. To the best knowledge of the authors no such survey has currently been undertaken.

Keywords

Citation

Houy, C., Fettke, P. and Loos, P. (2010), "Empirical research in business process management – analysis of an emerging field of research", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 619-661. https://doi.org/10.1108/14637151011065946

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited