Operational excellence through business process orientation: an intra- and inter-organizational analysis

Bahar Movahedi ( North Carolina Central University Durham United States )
Kayvan Miri-Lavassani ( North Carolina Central University Durham United States )
Uma Kumar ( Carleton University Ottawa Canada )

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Publication date: 3 March 2016



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of Business Process Orientation (BPO) at intra- and inter-organizational levels in various aspects of organizational performance.


A comprehensive research model is developed based on the review of literature. The research model is later examined and modified based on the analysis of a sample of 3200 for-profit organizations. Factor analysis and structural equation modeling techniques are used to investigate the research questions presented in the study.


The findings of this study suggest that while higher levels of BPO at intra-organizational level provide direct financial and operational benefits for the firms in our sample. Higher levels of BPO at inter-organizational level provide direct customer satisfaction benefits as well as indirect financial and operational benefits.

Research limitations/implications

Lack of sufficient previous studies and theories in this area is one of the main limitations of the study.

Practical implications

One of the important managerial implications of the present study is that organizations can learn about the types of benefits that they may expect to gain through a higher level of BPO at each of the two levels of analysis in this study: intra- and inter-organizational.


The measurement models and the comprehensive structural model are the main original contributions of this study. As far as can be determined, this is the first study that measures BPO at intra- and inter-organizational levels with respect to suppliers and customers, in addition to investigating the role of BPO on various aspects of organizational performance indicators through a large scale empirical study.


Movahedi, B., Miri-Lavassani, K. and Kumar, U. (2016), "Operational excellence through business process orientation: an intra- and inter-organizational analysis", The TQM Journal, Vol. 28 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-12-2013-0147

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