Achieving sustainable behavioral changes of daily work practices

Michael Leyer (Institute of Business Administration, Universitat Rostock, Rostock, Germany)
Ann-Kathrin Hirzel (Institute of Business Administration, Universitat Rostock, Rostock, Germany)
Juergen Moormann (ProcessLab, Management Department, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Frankfurt, Germany)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Publication date: 2 July 2018



Process-oriented behavior is a prerequisite for transforming a company into a process-oriented organization, but is difficult to achieve among employees. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of role plays on adapting process-oriented behavior in daily work practices.


Using the theory of cognitive dissonance, the authors investigate whether role plays are an effective learning method. This study was conducted over a period of two years and included 212 participants of a financial services provider.


The results reveal that the role play used had a persistent impact on employees’ process-oriented behavior in terms of their process knowledge, their cross-functional coordination, and their continuous process reflection, but not on their process awareness. Thus, the authors conclude that despite high application costs, role plays are beneficial for financial services companies to train their employees.

Research limitations/implications

While the data stem from participants within one financial service provider only, this study contributes to the understanding how process-oriented behavior can be promoted sustainably in organizations.

Practical implications

The results indicate that companies aiming for process orientation should apply role plays to achieve a change in behavior of employees.


This research contributes to the understanding of role plays as an effective learning method to adopt process-oriented behavior.



Leyer, M., Hirzel, A. and Moormann, J. (2018), "Achieving sustainable behavioral changes of daily work practices", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 1050-1068.

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