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Business process management: a systemic approach?

Mayara Segatto (Business Administration Department, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil)
Silvia Inês Dallavalle de Pádua (Business Administration Department, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil)
Dante Pinheiro Martinelli (Business Administration Department, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 19 July 2013




The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the business process management (BPM) approach contributes to applying systemic characteristics in organisations.


This is a theoretical and descriptive work based on a review of the literature on BPM and systemic approach.


From the analysis of its stages, it was possible to find a strong correspondence between BPM and the systemic characteristics found in the literature.

Practical implications

The paper presents practical implications to professionals as well as academics. The contribution to the body of knowledge on BPM derives from the identification of systemic characteristics in it, thus justifying its practical application to organisations in order to ensure better systemicity and adaptability. As processes are directed to the same goal, unnecessary and misdirected steps are redesigned or eliminated, concentrating resources on core processes and improving the organisation's performance. The paper also contributes to education, since the systemic approach may be a key subject to clarify the inter‐relationships among processes, and processes and their contexts.


The originality resides on elucidating the systemic characteristics of BPM, being academically valuable for justifying the studies about such an approach, besides contributing to the characterisation of its basic assumptions as well. In addition, the value of the present work for business management resides in the identification of a practical approach which can be applied to organisations in order to ensure them systemicity and flexibility.



Segatto, M., Inês Dallavalle de Pádua, S. and Pinheiro Martinelli, D. (2013), "Business process management: a systemic approach?", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 698-714.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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