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Designing complex socio-technical process systems – the airport example

Samia Mazhar (School of Information Systems, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Paul Pao-Yen Wu (School of Mathematical Sciences, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Michael Rosemann (School of Information Systems, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 22 November 2018

Issue publication date: 19 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

A configurable reference model can be used to assist in the development and management of business processes in complex, multi-stakeholder environments. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a process design in such environments via configurable process reference modelling, using airports as an example.

Design/methodology/approach

Existing reference modelling methods around process modelling, merging and configuration are extended to include contextual and spatial factors using the design science methodology. The approach is empirically based on a set of business process management notation (BPMN) models for international passenger departures, consolidated from five Australian airport case studies via document analysis, interviews and observation.

Findings

The use of contextual factors and operational scenarios, structured using the proposed approach, facilitated efficient cross-organisational comparison for configuring processes to suit the needs of a target organisation. The resulting configurable model integrates the perspectives of organisational stakeholder groups with that of the customer in a transparent and unambiguous graphical representation. It is a reusable tool with low data collection needs for each use.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should include: version management; how to keep the model current; configurability via modelling objects other than gateways; and cross-discipline application (e.g. as a foundation for quantitative decision-making models).

Originality/value

This is the first reported application of configurable reference modelling to airport passenger facilitation. Methodological contributions include the addition of space-sensitive process elements and notation to BPMN; guidelines for systematically deriving contextual factors associated with process variants across similar organisations; and overall normative guidelines for inductively developing a configurable process reference model.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Australian Research Council, as this study was conducted as part of the ARC Linkage programme LP0990135: “Airports of the Future”.

Citation

Mazhar, S., Wu, P.P.-Y. and Rosemann, M. (2019), "Designing complex socio-technical process systems – the airport example", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 1101-1125. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-09-2017-0241

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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