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Understanding the determinants of business process modelling in organisations

Tom R. Eikebrokk (University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway)
Jon Iden (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Bergen, Norway)
Dag H. Olsen (University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway)
Andreas L. Opdahl (University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 26 July 2011




The purpose of this paper is to address a theoretical gap in the business process management (BPM) literature on factors that influence the acceptance and use of business process modelling (PM) in organisations. The paper seeks to contribute to theory building and practice in BPM through better understanding of important determinants of PM adoption and use.


A combination of literature review and 34 interviews in context was used to develop a PM acceptance model that was subsequently empirically tested using survey data from 74 companies.


The paper provides empirical insights about how business PM can be influenced by many factors in the organisational context. It suggests that PM is a complex activity mandated by management, but influenced by individual and socio‐political factors.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for future research to focus on the many opposing forces that influence business PM in organisations. Future studies should analyse influence from different stakeholder groups separately to reveal their relative influence on PM activity and its outcomes.

Practical implications

The paper identifies important forces in the organisational context that managers should focus on in their efforts to successfully implement business PM in their organisations.


This paper uses a triangulation of sources of information to better understand the less‐studied process of PM adoption and use in an organisational context. It contributes to theory building within BPM and to more successful BPM in organisations.



Eikebrokk, T.R., Iden, J., Olsen, D.H. and Opdahl, A.L. (2011), "Understanding the determinants of business process modelling in organisations", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 639-662.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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