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An examination of associations between business process management capabilities and the benefits of digitalization: all capabilities are not equal

Yvonne Lederer Antonucci (Department of Management, School of Business Administration, Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA)
Annetta Fortune (Department of Management, School of Business Administration, Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA)
Mathias Kirchmer (School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) (School of Business Administration, Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA) (BPM-D, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 28 July 2020

Issue publication date: 25 January 2021

Abstract

Purpose

While organizations have learned to understand the importance of developing business process management (BPM) capabilities, digitalization now transforms business processes, and introduces new challenges. Extending prior research examining the value of BPM capabilities in organizations, this study examines the associations of BPM capabilities across direct and indirect digitalization benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from the capabilities perspective of strategic management, the dynamic versus ordinary classification was used to classify eight BPM capabilities. An empirical investigation of associations between the eight BPM capabilities and 20 digitalization benefits is presented based on data collected from 165 BPM professionals across four continents. Factor analyses were performed to verify the framework measures for BPM capabilities and digitalization benefits. The Kendall's tau-b (τb) correlation coefficient was used to measure the strength and direction of associations.

Findings

Overall results confirm positive associations between BPM capabilities and digitalization benefits, but the relationship was less dominant for ordinary BPM capabilities and indirect benefits. Furthermore, relationships between individual BPM capabilities and specific digitalization benefits vary both across and within the categories.

Practical implications

These findings support the moderate capability-based view that puts ordinary and dynamic capabilities on equal footing in dynamic environments, while also providing insight for managers focused on specific outcomes with digitalization efforts.

Originality/value

This study reveals that the strength of associations between BPM capabilities and digitalization benefits varies. This highlights the relevance of ordinary-dynamic and direct-indirect distinctions, and the value of a more fine-grained understanding to better inform practice.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge Peter Franz and Alexander Lotterer for sharing their industry experience. Furthermore the authors would like to thank the Association of Business Process Management Professionals (ABPMP) and Sigifredo Laengle for assistance in data collection, and the reviewers for their suggested improvements to this manuscript.

Citation

Antonucci, Y.L., Fortune, A. and Kirchmer, M. (2021), "An examination of associations between business process management capabilities and the benefits of digitalization: all capabilities are not equal", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 124-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-02-2020-0079

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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