Attention to processes has increased, as thousands of firms have adopted the process view of their organization. Process orientation (PO) means focusing on business processes rather than emphasizing functional structure or hierarchy. Despite the huge growth in the business process management literature, a methodological gap still remains about a certain ambiguity in the definition of the construct specifying its theoretical domain and dimensionalization. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the literature on PO through the creation and validation of a model to measure the key dimensions of the PO construct.
The authors derive from literature several dimensions which shape the concept of PO. In a second step, the study includes factor analysis on a sample of 152 Austrian manufacturing companies to verify that the model is empirical valid.
The paper provides insight in the concept of PO. It concludes that PO is a multidimensional construct, consisting of the following dimensions: design and documentation of business processes; management commitment towards PO; the process owner role; process performance measurement; a corporate culture in line with the process approach; application of continuous process improvement methodologies; and process‐oriented organizational structure.
The sample used in this work only included Austrian firms operating in manufacturing industry. Generalizability of the findings to other industries or other countries is open to scrutiny.
Several studies into process management use proxy variables as an indicator for PO (e.g. ISO 9000 certification). Other studies treat the construct as a unidimensional measure. However, unidimensional measures meet with increasing criticism, as they turn out to be insufficient to capture the richness of such a complex construct. This paper attempts to rectify the content deficiencies in the literature on the construct by specifying its theoretical domain and dimensionalization.
Kohlbacher, M. and Gruenwald, S. (2011), "Process orientation: conceptualization and measurement", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 267-283. https://doi.org/10.1108/14637151111122347Download as .RIS
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