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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2012

Cameron K. Tuai

Purpose – The integration of librarians and technologists to deliver information services represents a new and costly organizational challenge for many library…

Abstract

Purpose – The integration of librarians and technologists to deliver information services represents a new and costly organizational challenge for many library administrators. To understand how to control the costs of integration, this study uses structural contingency theory to study the coordination of librarians and technologists within the information commons.

Design/methodology/approach – This study tests the structural contingency theory expectation that an organization will achieve higher levels of performance when there is a positive relationship between the degree of workflow interdependence and the complexity of coordinative structures necessary to integrate these workflows. This expectation was tested by (a) identifying and collecting a sample of information common; (b) developing and validating survey instruments to test the proposition; and (c) quantitatively analyzing the data to test the proposed contingency theory relationship.

Findings – The contingency theory expectations were confirmed by finding both a positive relationship between coordination and interdependence and a positive relationship between perceptions of performance and degree of congruency between interdependence and coordination.

Limitations – The findings of this study are limited to both the context of an information common and the structures tested. Future research should seek to both broaden the context in which these findings are applicable, and test additional structural relationships as proposed by contingency theory

Practical implications – This study contributes to the library profession in a number of ways. First, it suggests that managers can improve IC performance by matching coordination structures to the degree of interdependence. For instance, when librarians and technologists are strictly co-located, managers should coordinate workflows using less resource-intensive policies rather than meetings. Second, the instruments developed in this study will improve the library manager's ability to measure and report unit interdependence and coordination in a valid and reliable manner. Lastly, it also contributes to the study of structural contingency theory by presenting one of the first empirical confirmations of a positive relationship between interdependence and coordination.

Originality/value – This study represents one of the first empirical confirmations of the structural contingency theory expectations of both a positive relationship between workflow interdependence and coordination, and a positive relationship between performance and coordination's fit to workflow interdependence. These findings are of value to both organizational theorists and to administrators of information commons.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-313-1

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 February 2022

Sharon Ince, Christopher Hoadley and Paul A. Kirschner

This paper is a qualitative study of how social sciences faculty construct their research workflows with the help of technological tools. The purpose of this study is to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is a qualitative study of how social sciences faculty construct their research workflows with the help of technological tools. The purpose of this study is to examine faculty scholarly workflows and how both tools and practices support the research process. This paper could inform academic libraries on how to support scholars throughout the research process.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative study case study of ten faculty members from six research universities from the United States and Canada. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and recorded. Atlas.ti was used to code and analyze the transcripts; each participant was a separate case. Descriptive coding was used to identify digital tools used for collaboration; process and descriptive coding was utilized to examine practices in scholarly workflows.

Findings

Through case study analysis the results of this study include the role of technology in faculty research workflows. Each workflow was grouped into four categories: information literacy, information management, knowledge management, and scholarly communication. The findings included scholars creating simple workflows for efficiency and collaboration and utilizing workarounds.

Research limitations/implications

The study did not observe faculty in the process of doing research and, thus, only reports on what the researchers say that they do.

Originality/value

The research is unique in that there is almost no research on how social scientists conduct their research workflows and the affordances/impasses of this process.

Article
Publication date: 10 February 2022

Kai Kang, Xinlai Liu, Yishuo Jiang, Ken, Kam Hang Lee, Sean Ka Wai Wan, George Q. Huang and Ray Y. Zhong

Blockchain as a disruptive technology has revolutionized many industries, such as finance, logistics and manufacturing sectors. This paper aims to explore Blockchain…

Abstract

Purpose

Blockchain as a disruptive technology has revolutionized many industries, such as finance, logistics and manufacturing sectors. This paper aims to explore Blockchain applications in construction to effectively manage project workflows and uplift construction efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with various stakeholders from a public infrastructure project to analyze Blockchain applications in the construction industry. Eleven key construction workflows are selected to identify and discover the necessity and significance of Blockchain applications in the construction industry. They are related to construction program, daily operations and payment. Based on workflow analysis, several issues are discussed to design a development roadmap of Blockchain in the construction industry.

Findings

The findings show Blockchain can improve construction efficiency, reduce paper-based manual operation and address the fragmentation and communication issue. However, the development of Blockchain in the construction industry is still impeded by some challenges. Traditional work modes might be existing even though Blockchain-enabled systems are introduced, which may increase the workload of construction practitioners. Thus, a feasible and practical development roadmap is proposed to instruct implementation of Blockchain in construction.

Originality/value

This research systematically analyzes the development of Blockchain in the construction industry from several existing workflows, based on a real-life case study. Several considerations are given to provide referential value for applying Blockchain in the construction industry, including opportunities and challenges, cost–benefit analysis, obstacles and possible solutions, as well as development strategies with a prototype system.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2022

Sara Bayramzadeh and Leong Yin Tanya Chiu

This study aims to examine trauma room staff’s perception of factors that influence workflow in trauma care from a physical environment standpoint.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine trauma room staff’s perception of factors that influence workflow in trauma care from a physical environment standpoint.

Design/methodology/approach

A semi-structured focus group method was used. Trauma team members, representative of various roles within a team, were recruited from five Level I trauma centers in the USA, through a convenience sampling method. A total of 53 participants were recruited to participate in online focus groups. The Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety model was used to analyze the findings.

Findings

In addition to factors directly related to the physical environment, aspects of people and technology, such as crowding and access to technology, were found to be related to the physical environment. Examples of factors that improve or hinder workflow are layout design, appropriate room size, doors, sink locations, access to resources such as X-ray or blood and access to technology. Seamless and uninterrupted workflow is crucial in achieving efficient and safe care in the time-pressured environments of trauma rooms. To support workflow, the physical environment can offer solutions through effective layout design, thoughtful location of resources and technology and room size.

Originality/value

Trauma rooms are time-pressured and complex environments where seconds matter to save a patient’s life. Ensuring safe and efficient care requires seamless workflow. However, the literature on workflow in trauma rooms is limited.

Details

Facilities , vol. 40 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 March 2021

Milton Secundino de Souza-Júnior, Nelson Souto Rosa and Fernando Antônio Aires Lins

This paper aims to present Long4Cloud (long-running workflows execution environment for cloud), a distributed and adaptive LRW execution environment delivered “as a…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present Long4Cloud (long-running workflows execution environment for cloud), a distributed and adaptive LRW execution environment delivered “as a service” solution.

Design/methodology/approach

LRWs last for hours, days or even months and their duration open the possibility of changes in business rules, service interruptions or even alterations of formal regulations of the business before the workflow completion. These events can lead to problems such as loss of intermediary results or exhaustion of computational resources used to manage the workflow execution. Existing solutions face those problems by merely allowing the replacement (at runtime) of services associated with activities of the LRW.

Findings

LONG4Cloud extends the previous works in two main aspects, namely, the inclusion of dynamic reconfiguration capabilities and the adoption of an “as a service” delivery mode. The reconfiguration mechanism uses quiescence principles, data and state management and provides multiple adaptive strategies. Long4Cloud also adopts a scenario-based analysis to decide the adaptation to be performed. Events such as changes in business rules or service failures trigger reconfigurations supported by the environment. These features have been put together in a solution delivered “as a service” that takes advantage of cloud elasticity and allows to better allocate cloud resources to fit into the demands of LRWs.

Originality/value

The original contribution of Long4Cloud is to incorporate adaptive capabilities into the LRW execution environment as an effective way to handle the specificities of this kind of workflow. Experiments using current data of a Brazilian health insurance company were carried out to evaluate Long4Cloud and show performance gains in the execution of LRWs submitted to the proposed environment.

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2021

Hamidreza Nasiriasayesh, Alireza Yari and Eslam Nazemi

The concept of business process (BP) as a service is a new solution in enterprises for the purpose of using specific BPs. BPs represent combinations of software services…

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of business process (BP) as a service is a new solution in enterprises for the purpose of using specific BPs. BPs represent combinations of software services that must be properly executed by the resources provided by a company’s information technology infrastructure. As the policy requirements are different in each enterprise, processes are constantly evolving and demanding new resources in terms of computation and storage. To support more agility and flexibility, it is common today for enterprises to outsource their processes to clouds and, more recently, to cloud federation environment. Ensuring the optimal allocation of cloud resources to process service during the execution of workflows in accordance with user policy requirements is a major concern. Given the diversity of resources available in a cloud federation environment and the ongoing process changes required based on policies, reallocating cloud resources for service processing may lead to high computational costs and increased overheads in communication costs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a new adaptive resource allocation approach that uses a novel algorithm extending the natural-based intelligent water drops (IWD) algorithm that optimizes the resource allocation of workflows on the cloud federation which can estimate and optimize final deployment costs. The proposed algorithm is implemented and embedded within the WokflowSim simulation toolkit and tested in different simulated cloud environments with different workflow models.

Findings

The algorithm showed noticeable enhancements over the classical workflow deployment algorithms taking into account the challenges of data transfer. This paper made a comparison between the proposed IWD-based workflow deployment (IWFD) algorithm with other proposed algorithms. IWFD presented considerable improvements in the makespan, cost and data transfer in most situations in the cloud federation environment.

Originality/value

An extension for WorkflowSim to support the implementation of BPs in a federation cloud space regarding BP policy. Optimize workflow execution performance in Federated clouds by means of IWFD algorithm.

Details

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-7371

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

Alison Parkes and Michael Davern

The purpose of this paper is to explore how success emerges in a business process change initiative, given the often conflicting forces and challenges present in a workflow

1906

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how success emerges in a business process change initiative, given the often conflicting forces and challenges present in a workflow implementation. A detailed reflective analysis provides an opportunity to explore how different process enablers interact to achieve non‐obvious outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection entailed semi‐structured interviews, observation of project activities, and analysis of project documentation for a workflow project at a public sector organisation (AustGov). Data collection occurred from project initiation to implementation and is analysed utilizing the process enterprise maturity model.

Findings

Despite encountering numerous issues, the process workflow went live as planned; the project was a success. The case demonstrates how project drivers interact in context to provide a coherent explanation of project outcomes. That the project did not fail, despite encountering obstacles and challenges, is attributed to the maturity of critical process enablers within the portfolio.

Research limitations/implications

The AustGov case study provides an exemplar of how and why interrelationships between process enablers and project context matter. The case analysis provides a rich study of a workflow project, and demonstrates the suitability of the process audit framework to explain outcomes of business process change projects.

Practical implications

The findings demonstrate the importance of managing interdependencies and competing priorities between process enablers to successfully implement business process change.

Originality/value

The case provides a rich example of the implementation of business process change using workflow software. The authors find that achieving successful outcomes in a challenging environment is best understood when viewed from the perspective of the maturity of a portfolio of project enablers; also, that attention needs to be paid to developing advanced maturity in those enablers most closely related to the specific challenges evident in the project context.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Michael Hafner, Ruth Breu, Berthold Agreiter and Andrea Nowak

This contribution aims to present the core components of a framework and illustrate the main concepts of a methodology for the systematic design and realization of…

1066

Abstract

Purpose

This contribution aims to present the core components of a framework and illustrate the main concepts of a methodology for the systematic design and realization of security‐critical inter‐organizational workflows with a portion of a workflow‐scenario drawn from e‐government. It is additionally shown how the framework can be adapted to incorporate advanced security patterns like the Qualified Signature, which extends the concept of digital signature by requiring a natural person to sign.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework is based on a methodology that focuses on the correct implementation of security‐requirements and consists of a suite of tools that facilitates the cost‐efficient realization and management of decentralized, security‐critical workflows.

Findings

The framework has been prototypically validated through case studies from the healthcare and e‐government sector. Positive results in pilot applications with industrial partners encourage further steps: the set of supported security requirements is continuously extended (e.g. rights delegation, four eyes principle), a testing environment for industrial settings is being implemented, and the requirements for the efficient management of inter‐organizational workflows are being analysed systematically.

Practical implications

The framework caters to the needs of an industrial audience, in need of a cost‐efficient support for the systematic and correct realization of secure, inter‐organizational workflows.

Originality/value

The contribution provides a description of the Sectet framework. It is shown how it can be adapted to incorporate advanced security patterns like the Qualified Signature, which implement a legal requirement specific to e‐government.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2011

Farhana Sajjad, Habin Lee, Muhammad Kamal and Zahir Irani

This paper aims to gauge the feasibility of workflow technology as a potential solution to facilitating citizen participation in policy‐making processes. The gaps in and…

2598

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to gauge the feasibility of workflow technology as a potential solution to facilitating citizen participation in policy‐making processes. The gaps in and future direction of a current workflow models to be used to automate policy‐making processes are to be discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

A thorough review on the principles and philosophies of policy‐making processes and process models is performed to extract the core constructs of the processes. This follows critical analysis of existing workflow models to identify gaps of the models to be used to support policy‐making processes. An e‐participation perspective is also taken to identify additional modelling constructs that are required when a large number of citizens is involved in a workflow task for opinion gathering.

Findings

While workflow technology has been adopted in the public sector, the use of the technology is mostly limited to supporting administrative business processes, leaving the potential to automate policy‐making processes. There are some studies that take a life‐cycle approach for policy making and they can be the starting‐point of applying workflow technology to policy‐making process automation. The application of workflow technology to policy‐making processes is expected to facilitate the participation of citizens in these processes through the automatic delivery of relevant policy issues into citizens' lives. A new type of workflow model is required to reflect factors specific to the public sector, including rules for role resolution, considering large‐scale citizen participation and modelling constructs to penetrate into citizens' everyday lives for proactive stimulation for e‐participation.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis is based on a literature review, and empirical data collection could complement the analysis results of the paper. This is included in the future research agenda.

Practical implications

The findings provide policy makers with a stimulus for adopting workflow technology in the public sector. Gap analysis and future directions of a workflow model for policy‐making processes are expected to be informative for any practitioners who are intending to develop workflow management systems in the public sector.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first efforts to gauge the potential of using workflow technology from an e‐participation perspective to engage a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including citizens, in policy‐making processes.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 November 2012

Jaroslav Kadlec

The traditional methods for process modeling emphasize the process workflow considerations at the cost of the associated process structure and resource communication. In…

1352

Abstract

Purpose

The traditional methods for process modeling emphasize the process workflow considerations at the cost of the associated process structure and resource communication. In the real process world, however, all these aspects are integrated and appear simultaneously: the workflows are driven by communication across the structure of resources. The aim of this paper is to explore a new approach based on an innovative, two‐dimensional view of the process world in an enterprise, integrating the workflow, the structure, and the communication from the beginning on.

Design/methodology/approach

Contrary to the traditional methods, the workflow diagrams are not directly designed by the process modeler, but rather they are automatically generated from the connectivity of specified resource communication. The modular documentation contains text and graphic information about the entire process world (structure of process resources, structure of process workflows, resource communication and interaction, communication through internal/external interfaces).

Findings

A new systematic approach to modular, process‐oriented enterprise description has been developed. Its two‐dimensional model allows an integrated visualization of the entire process world. The resulting process documentation is absolutely consistent and of very high quality. The user‐friendly access to information is made possible by clear interdependencies of process‐defining objects embedded in a relational documentation model. An update of the complete documentation can be performed automatically from the common database. The successful software implementation of the prototype application and its use in small customer projects demonstrate the practical feasibility of the two‐dimensional approach.

Originality/value

The two‐dimensional process modeling (2DPM) is a new systematic approach to modular process‐oriented enterprise description. A software implementation based on the underlying model together with professional programming tools and principles would be necessary to arrive at a marketable product.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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