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Towards an Understanding of the Business Value of Business Process Standardization - A Case Study Approach

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Abstract

What is the business value of process standardization? Alongside the development of industrial engineering of information technology and of business process redesign studied by Davenport and Short (1990), and Davenport's approach defining business processes (Davenport, 2005), other researchers offer initial insights into business process standardization research opportunities (Venkatesh, 2006). Based on this new thinking about business process standardization, this paper presents a step towards understanding the business value of business process standardization. A single case study with a global operating company was conducted to show how a successful standardized business process and a supporting information system can impact the process performance in terms of cost, time and quality. The process studied within the case study is the company-wide recruiting process. As the results indicate, the company has improved the overall process performance. The results provide an initial insight into an understanding of the business value of process standardization.

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... In our design research project, we develop a holistic BPS methodology which consists of a procedure model and a governance model as tools for achieving BPS. While the procedure model guides the development and implementation of standardized processes, the governance model will be required to ensure that people adhere to the new standards and that changes to the process are made consistently (Münstermann and Eckhardt 2009). In this paper, we introduce the procedure model, which resembles the current progress of our design research project. ...
... In the following, we introduce a procedure model, called JoinIN!, for standardizing business processes across an organization (cf. Figure 2). For its development, we drew on other standardization and BPR methodologies (Davenport 1993;Davenport and Short 1990;Manrodt and Vitasek 2004;Münstermann and Eckhardt 2009;Münstermann and Weitzel 2008;Ungan 2006). The JoinIN! methodology defines three phases in which different process variants from various affiliated companies, locations, or business units are merged to a 'standard process' (Münstermann and Weitzel 2008). ...
... Thus, JoinIN! combines and enhances previous models (e.g. Davenport 1993; Davenport and Short 1990;Manrodt and Vitasek 2004;Münstermann and Eckhardt 2009;Münstermann and Weitzel 2008;Ungan 2006) so that it constitutes a realizable and holistic procedure model. It can help practitioners to start a company-wide standardization project because JoinIN!, in contrast to previous works, provides a detailed approach description that can be validated regarding suitability, effectiveness, and generalizability. ...
Article
Firms are focusing more closely on standardizing or homogenizing instances of a particular business process across different business units or locations. Our paper introduces research in progress on a business process standardization (BPS) procedure model that guides firms in conducting effective BPS firm-wide. This model is currently being developed and tested by applying it to a business process at Lufthansa Technik, following a design science cycle and taking an action research approach. This paper shows how we are following the good-practice guidelines of design science and how we intend to evaluate the applicability and effectiveness of the model. Eventually, we expect this model to contribute significantly to extant research on BPS, which has to date focused on the outcomes of BPS and on the contingencies of BPS effectiveness rather than making prescriptive suggestions for reaping substantial process efficiency gains in large and decentralized firms. © (2013) by the AIS/ICIS Administrative Office All rights reserved.
... Our synthesis of the literature indicated that irrespective of the reason for BPS initiation, the following seven stages of BPS are evidenced. Stage 1 -Documentation: This stage involves documenting details of variants (single or multiple) of the process to be standardized Muenstermann and Weitzel 2008;von Stetten et al. 2008;Ungan 2006). The details of already documented variants need to be checked to ensure all specifications of the process are adequate. ...
... Stage 2 -Modularization: The next stage is to modularize the variants, i.e., to divide them into meaningful, coherent parts (Muenstermann and Weitzel 2008;von Stetten et al. 2008). This is to ensure that the necessary aspects of the process are captured to the required level of detail (such as who is responsible for tasks and who is accountable for the execution of the various parts of the process) (von Stetten et al. 2008), while also managing the associated complexities of maintaining such details. ...
... Stage 2 -Modularization: The next stage is to modularize the variants, i.e., to divide them into meaningful, coherent parts (Muenstermann and Weitzel 2008;von Stetten et al. 2008). This is to ensure that the necessary aspects of the process are captured to the required level of detail (such as who is responsible for tasks and who is accountable for the execution of the various parts of the process) (von Stetten et al. 2008), while also managing the associated complexities of maintaining such details. ...
Article
Full-text available
Business Process Standardization (BPS) is a strategy for improved efficiency and effectiveness of business processes. However, BPS approaches are known to vary much in practice, can consume inordinate time and resources, and are ill-understood. This study applies an exploratory analysis of BPS literature to identify alternative BPS strategies. The analysis identified three key decision-points when strategizing: (i) Approach to standardization (Bottom-up or Top-down), (ii) Choice of Master Process (Internal Exemplar, Internal Best-of-Breed, or External Exemplar), and (iii) Optimization of the Master Process (Yes or No). These alternative choices, in combination, yield 12 BPS strategies, which are described herein and instantiated by mapping 21 published BPS cases against the 12 strategy types. The resulting typology of BPS strategies can serve as a useful tool for researchers investigating BPS and may provide insight for practitioners when considering an appropriate BPS strategy, or in better understanding their existing implicit or explicit strategy.
... Venkatesh (2006), for example, identifies "process standardization" as one of three "broad future research directions." An impressive number of recently published papers on process standardization shows the associated relevance (Sánchez-Rodríguez et al., 2006;Bala and Venkatesh, 2007;Wuellenweber and Weitzel, 2007;von Stetten et al., 2008;Muenstermann and Weitzel, 2008). ...
... First, qualitative research approaches already observed a positive impact of process standardization on business process performance in the recruiting process (von Stetten et al., 2008). This impact could be achieved in all steps of the recruiting process. ...
... To analyze and differentiate the influence of process standardization on business process performance in the recruiting process, we take the common performance dimensions used in HR research (von Stetten et al., 2008;Laumer et al., 2008;Eckhardt et al., 2009b). The dimensions can be described as follows: ...
Article
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to show if business process standardization (BPS) has an impact on business process performance and should be considered as both a valid business process management (BPM) measure and a regular driver of process success. Design/methodology/approach - An empirical analysis based on data from 156 firms is used to evaluate the hypothesis that process standardization positively impacts business process time, cost, and quality. Findings - First, the paper proposes a model and empirical operationalization to analyze the impact of process standardization on process performance. Second, empirical analysis shows that BPS has a decisive impact on process performance ( R 2 =61.9 percent). Precisely, there is a significant impact on process time, cost, and most notably on quality. The results indicate that the impact is strongest in services firms and varies subject to a firm's strategy type. Practical implications - The results suggest that BPS should regularly be considered a prime action item and major tool in a firm's BPM toolbox. Originality/value - The paper is among the first to empirically show the vital impact of process standardization on performance. For academics and practitioners interested in BPM and the value impact of processes, the results suggest adding process standardization as a regular argument into research on and management of business processes.
... In this context, business process management (BPM) as a holistic management approach (Pritchard and Armistead 1999;Zairi 1997) has become prevalent. To enhance a company's performance, business process standardization (BPS) has recently got into focus of the BPM literature as a methodology to substantially enable and achieve efficiency potentials (e.g., improved operative process performance, increased transparency and controllability and realized economies of scale and skill) (Davenport 2005;Münstermann and Eckhardt 2009;Münstermann et al. 2010b;Ramakumar and Cooper 2004;Swaminathan 2001;Wüllenweber et al. 2008). While academia (Münstermann et al. 2010b;Venkatesh 2006) and practitioners likewise perceive BPS to be desirable, it can also be a major obstacle since processes may have to be changed throughout the organization. ...
... The BPS literature has yet exclusively focused on success factors (e.g., Münstermann and Eckhardt 2009;Münstermann et al. 2010a;Münstermann et al. 2010b) for BPS and relevant capabilities (e.g., Jurisch et al. 2012) for business process change (BPC). These are vital works to understand what is necessary to successfully implement BPS. ...
... This result matches with the existing BPS literature (e.g. Münstermann and Eckhardt 2009;Münstermann et al. 2010). Designing a process standard which defines optimal workflows and procedures is just one first step. ...
Article
Business process standardization (BPS) has recently got into focus of the BPM literature as a methodology to substantially enable efficiency potentials and therefore improve process performance. So far, the BPS literature has exclusively focused on success factors for BPS and relevant capabilities. By contrast, inhibiting factors have not been sufficiently considered, yet, but success factors respectively enablers and inhibitors are not simply the opposites. The objective of this paper is to identify factors which inhibit BPS and to deduce management actions which help successfully standardize processes. To answer this question, we study the case of an international process standardization project in a global maintenance company. We derive a set of inhibiting factors for BPS. Thereby, some of these inhibitors have to be considered for any organizational change project while others are BPS specific. The specific inhibitors are analyzed in detail and discussed by mirroring them to non-BP standardization research.
... This complements a recent research stream on the drivers and outcomes of process standardization (Bala and Venkatesh, 2007;Hall and Johnson, 2009;Muenstermann and Weitzel, 2008;Sánchez-Rodríguez et al., 2006;Stetten et al., 2008;Venkatesh, 2006;Wuellenweber et al., 2008). Since process standardization helps to identify and avoid process inefficiencies and to generate economies of scale by process bundling; usually these works find operational efficiency potentials, i.e. increased process performance, to be the primary outcome from process standardization. ...
... Then, in comparison to other HR processes the recruiting process is known to be the most time and cost consuming one (Kim and Won, 2007), consequently disposing of significant saving potentials that can be leveraged by business process standardization. Additionally, the rising importance of the corporate recruiting process is also recognized in practice, since more and more globally operating firms started to standardize their global recruiting processes (Stetten et al., 2008). Finally, driven by the fast changing recruiting environment (e.g., increasing share of online applications, increasing importance of job portals, shorter average employee retention times) the corporate recruiting process has to be highly adaptive/flexible to guarantee high potential candidates and hires. ...
Conference Paper
This paper argues that business process standardization, as part of BPM activities, is an effective way to improve business process flexibility and performance. We develop and empirically evaluate a theoretical model of the differential impact of business process homogenization and optimization on business process flexibility and performance. The analysis based on data from 85 large firms shows a strong and highly significant influence of process standardization on business process flexibility and performance. This paper is among the first to propose a research model and empirical operationalization to analyze the twofold impact of process standardization on business process flexibility and performance. For practitioners the paper provides actionable recommendations on how to apply the findings to their management context.
... Another reason for the use of online instruments in staff recruitment is the opportunity to reach and attract a larger number of applicants compared to offline media as newspapers or magazines. Moreover the companies are able to process and track a larger number of applications faster and more cost-saving compared to traditional methods if their recruiting process is highly standardized [41]. However aside from these benefits there are as well a number of challenges. ...
... Due to the increasing talent shortage companies do not have the choice as to search in every communication channel for qualified workers. For this necessary increase in work information systems and structured processes may be a valuable solution and source of help [41]. Therefore the following section describes an approach how information systems can support the selection of candidates and how the recruiting process can be structured. ...
Conference Paper
Despite the benefits of information technology for corporations in staff recruitment (reduced time and costs per hire) the increased use also led to glut of applications especially in major enterprises. Therefore the companies forced to find the best candidate in times of a "War for Talent" need help to find this needle in a haystack. This help could be provided by recommender systems predominately used in e-commerce to recommend products or services to customers purchasing specific products. Recommender systems could assist the recruiter to find the adequate candidate within the applicant's database. In order to support this search and selection process we conduct a design science approach to integrate recommender systems in a holistic e-recruiting architecture and therewith provide a complete and new solution for IT support in staff recruitment.
... Consequently the updated model also describes the direct connection between IT use and the efficiency of an organization. Therefore we base our hypotheses on the updated version of DeLone and McLean's model of information system success [15,16] and hypothesize a positive impact for IT use in the recruiting process, in form of software solutions to support applicant tracking [36,44,45], on the essential process performance determinants in the staff recruitment process, time and costs per hire as well as the overall process quality [22,51]. With regard to the dimension of quality, the literature suggests, for example, that the use of an application management system can ensure [53] or even improve [6] the quality of the candidates appointed. ...
... With regard to the dimension of quality, the literature suggests, for example, that the use of an application management system can ensure [53] or even improve [6] the quality of the candidates appointed. Rationalization is generally related to economies of time in [6,20,52], which then imply reductions in cost [22,51]. Based on the adapted DeLone and McLean model [15,16] we hypothesize the following effect of IT use in staff recruitment: ...
Conference Paper
Despite an era of global recession qualified staff is still rare due to the demographical situation worldwide. Companies are forced to develop new cost saving recruitment strategies to ensure the necessary labor supply while recruitment budgets are pruned. In this area, the use of information technology creates interesting opportunities to contact candidates and process applications, not only more economically but also more quickly. The actual value of the contribution made by IT in HR is nevertheless still disputed. For this reason, we conducted an empirical analysis in three different countries examining the impact of IT on process performance determinants in staff recruitment. With the aid of three causal models for Germany, Austria and Switzerland we could confirm a positive impact of IT use on time and costs per hire as well on the overall recruitment process quality.
... However, apart from this common assumption, there is little reliable knowledge about why and how business process standardization can provide these benefits. First approaches suggest that an increased process performance might be the result of the combined use of data and process standards (Muenstermann et al., 2009b) and that the corporate implementation of process standardization projects is driven by top management support, involvement of all affected departments as well as by the organizational topology (Muenstermann and Eckhardt, 2009). ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to enhance the understanding of business process standardization and how it contributes to generating business value. This research is a step towards a solid theoretical framework around business process standardization. Design/methodology/approach A single case study conducted in a global operating company is completed. Standardization of a certain business process (in this case the recruiting process) is shown to contribute to business value. Findings By standardizing its recruiting process, the company was able to reduce the “time‐to‐hire” from 92 to 69 days and the overall costs of the recruiting process by about 30 percent. The quality of the applicant data has clearly improved. Clarity and transparency of the recruiting process could be increased, while the administrative expense within the human resources (HR) departments in the distinct business locations could be reduced significantly. Research limitations/implications As with every case study, the generalizability of these findings is limited because the results are based on a single case only and because the focus has been solely on one process – the recruiting process – and did not include other business processes. Practical implications The case study can be useful for any company that intends to standardize its recruiting process. Clear indications of how to achieve business value out of process standardization are given. Originality/value The paper provides a clear definition of what business process standardization is and how it can lead to increased business value. Clear indications of how to achieve increased business value by business process standardization are provided for practitioners.
... The attribute "standardization" describes the compatibility of process variants, while "automatisation" can be understood as the use of IT to assist in the execution of a business process (Muenstermann and Eckhardt, 2009). Additionally, "frequency" further manifests itself in the repetition of a task in a given amount of time (Becker, 2010). ...
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Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) represent two potential disruptive technologies at the top of their hype cycle. Subsequently, questions arise what impact these technologies can have on future business models, especially for service-driven industries like the financial sector. While various assumptions in practice indicate a complementary usage of both DLT and AI to generate new value creation potentials, current literature and research remains scarce. To understand possible synergies for financial services, a segregated perspective on DLT or AI alone is not enough. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to gain first insights how specific elements of these technologies can be mutually implemented and combined for a potential technological convergence on basis of an end-to-end lending reference process. Building upon the existing body of knowledge and based on Design Science Research, an instantiation of the redesigned process has been created in three iterative cycles. The process prototype demonstrates that DLT and AI are complementary technologies and mostly do not compete against each other with a focus on subsequent synergies. Finally, a comparative overview of the impact on the respective sub-processes has been elaborated to conduct principles for the design and development of future distributed-ledger-based AI applications.
... A more focused human resources management based on clearly defined quality criteria in terms of time, cost and process quality is the future for HR. Companies need to be competitive like some who have already managed to effectively reduce their time and costs per hire and to increase the overall quality of their employees as well their employee related data due to standardization (von Stetten et al., 2008) or long-term employer branding (Gatewood et al., 1993). The RPAS permits the HR management to analyze their retention incentives in terms of time, cost and quality and so to improve the overall process. ...
Article
As one of the top issues for CIOs nowadays the recruiting and retention of IT-professionals has received a lot of attention both in practice and research. While companies are in dire need of new strategies and integrated approaches in human resources, research has predominately observed the general attitude of IT-professionals to their work, their individual incentives and consequentially their turnover intention. We aim to relieve these needs in practice by introducing an approach containing an aligned ITarchitecture of e- recruiting and retention processes. For this purpose we use a design science approach to develop an IT-architecture of retention processes and their related subsystems and combine this architecture with the next-generation holistic e-recruiting system invented by In Lee in 2007. This architecture could increase knowledge transfer and thereby improve the adjustment and performance of both processes.
... Programs fostering digitization within European Commission, such as the Digital Agenda within Europe 2020 strategy (European Commission 2016) are emerging resulting in higher relevance of new technologies. One reason for the implementation of information technology (IT) is standardization of processes within organizations in order to gain performance improvements (Bala and Venkatesh 2007;Münstermann et al. 2010;Stetten et al. 2008). ...
Conference Paper
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IT-based workarounds gain increasing attention facing both negative – regarding productivity and performance – and positive – such as innovation and improvement – facets within organizations. However, experimental investigation of underlying factors and components of workarounds still remains rare. This research-in-progress paper develops a theoretical model in order to evaluate the effect of technology and human workload on positive – in terms of improvement-oriented behavior-and negative – in terms of intended noncompliant behavior – facets of workarounds in a field experiment. Compared to previous research on workarounds who mainly focused on outcomes of workarounds, we propose mental workload as a new underlying construct determining workarounds. In addition, we approach on the so far either negative or positive phenomenon from a dual-sided perspective integrating both sides. Concluding, we expect our theoretical model to deepen the understanding of the relationships of technology and workload on the concept of dual-sided workarounds.
... Such success stories are leading an increasing number of organizations to consider standardizing their processes, driving the need for well-founded guidance on BPS decisions (Ludwig et al. 2011;Manrodt and Vitasek 2004;Rosenkranz et al. 2010). This industry need is consistent with the scholarly perspective that considers BPS an important yet under-researched topic (Münstermann and Weitzel 2008;Ungan 2006;Venkatesh 2006;von Stetten et al. 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
Business process management (BPM) is an acknowledged source of corporate performance. A well-established element of the BPM toolbox by which organizations intend to tune the performance of their processes is business process standardization (BPS). So far, research on BPS has predominantly taken a descriptive perspective, analyzing how BPS affects different dimensions of process performance (e.g., cost, quality, time, flexibility). Only very few studies capitalize on the mature body of descriptive BPS knowledge to assist in determining an appropriate BPS level for an organization‘s processes. Moreover, these studies do not resolve the BPS trade-off, i.e., the partly conflicting effects of BPS on process performance. To address this research problem, we propose a decision model that provides guidance on how to determine an economically appropriate BPS level for a business process. We thereby adopt the design science research (DSR) paradigm and draw from the body of knowledge on BPS as well as value-based management. We evaluated the decision model by discussing its design specification against theory-backed design objectives. We also validated the model’s applicability and usefulness in a real-world case where we applied the decision model and a prototypical implementation to the coverage switching processes of an insurance broker pool company. Finally, we challenged the decision model against accepted evaluation criteria from the DSR literature. Full-text: http://www.fim-rc.de/Paperbibliothek/Veroeffentlicht/468/wi-468.pdf
... Unlike as in most studies, the theoretical background of the phenomenon that stands at the core of interest (here: the digital transformation) does not impose a necessary prerequisite for understanding the remainder of the paper (Maier et al., 2020;Stetten et al., 2008). Instead, such a common understanding is the explicit aim of our study. ...
... Also regarding the implementation of a HRIS first research approaches in this field (e.g. , Münstermann et al. 2010, Von Stetten et al. 2008) already observe a positive impact of HRIS in the recruiting process. This impact could be achieved in all steps of the recruiting process for several different performance dimensions. ...
Article
This research examines the effects of business process management (BPM) and information systems implementations in secondary service processes. Using a case study of BPM and human resources information systems (HRIS) in the recruiting context at a financial service provider it can be shown that BPM, defined as a structured systematic approach to analyze and continually improve a specific process, and HRIS provide positive effects in terms of cost reduction, increased cycle time, customer satisfaction, and improve quality for secondary service processes in organizations. The results contribute to IS research as they illustrate how combined BPM and IS can be implemented in secondary service processes and provide evidence for the positive effects of BPM and HRIS in this type of processes.
... However, in both academia and industry BPS has hardly been treated as discrete and concisely defined object of research. Even very recent papers claim a lack of research on a concise definition and on the role/impact of BPS (von Stetten et al. 2008). Ungan (2006, p. 136) notices that "despite its great attractiveness, academics' and practitioners' work on [business] process standardization is conspicuously absent". ...
Conference Paper
What is the impact of a Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) on the efficiency and effectiveness of business process standardization (BPS)? The contribution of this paper is the development of a research model around the impact of SOA on BPS in terms of achieving fundamental efficiency and flexibility potentials while covering both the business layer and the IT layer of the firm. Drawing on an accepted and widespread enterprise architecture model, we derive propositions that explain why and how SOA's characteristics help to standardize business processes and how the interplay between SOA and BPS leads to an increased overall business value. Additional moderator arguments, such as the level of service granularity, the centrality of SOA governance, or Business IT alignment, are added to the research model as critical success factors of achieving business value of SOA.
... An important reason for organization to implement information systems (IS) is to standardize business processes, which results in performance improvements (Bala and Venkatesh 2007;Münstermann et al. 2010;Stetten et al. 2008). Workarounds as deviations from defined routines in business processes challenge standardization and thus threaten the performance improvements from IS (Alter 2014;da Cunha and Carugati 2009;Ignatiadis and Nandhakumar 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Workarounds as deviations from defined routines in business processes challenge standardization and thus the performance improvements expected from information systems. Literature associates workarounds predominantly with performance losses. Only few studies report on performance improvements from workarounds. However, what characterizes situations in which managers tolerate workarounds to yield potential performance improvements? This study examines situations in which managers are able to decide whether to tolerate or to prohibit workarounds. We report on a multiple case study in two organizations and use existing research on workarounds to structure our analysis. Building on this, we show that expected efficiency gains, exposure to compliance risk and perceived process weakness have an effect on the willingness of management to tolerate workarounds. We develop a model that illustrates important aspects of situations that influence this willingness and outlines the role of information systems in understanding workarounds.
Chapter
The goal of this chapter is to provide an overview of the state of the art of BPS research, including a reflection on approaches to define BPS, an overview of drivers/antecedents, and consequences/value dimensions of BPS.1
Conference Paper
Business process standardization (BPS) is an important aspect of BPM that receives increasing academic and practitioner attention. But what makes BPS projects successful and how can a firm establish a sustainable BPS capability for continuous process improvements? This paper draws on a case study with a leading E-commerce company about key business and IT-actions that contribute to BPS success. Further - while so far most BPS projects were designed as "only-once" activities the paper shows how companies can enhance their BPS activities towards a "BPS competency" allowing for continuous BPS process improvements.
Conference Paper
What impact do process and data standards have on business process performance? This paper shows that process and data standards have a positive combined impact on business process performance - measured in business process time, cost and quality. This combined impact of process and data standards on business process performance is empirically confirmed using data from an annual study of the recruitment process among Germany's Fortune 1,000 companies. Building on the confirmed positive combined impact of process and data standards, the paper provides actionable managerial recommendations on how to achieve this impact.
Chapter
The goal of this chapter is to offer a “roadmap” for further research around BPS and the actual BPS value creation. Along five distinct directions—and partly already based on some initial findings from research in progress—paths for further research are suggested.
Thesis
In this PhD thesis the question “Why do people reject technologies?” is investigated and a variety of theoretical founded and empirical evaluated answers are given. Too many IT implementation and organizational change projects in firms still fail as the underling Information Systems are inadequately used. The thesis evaluates the reasons for user resistance behavior including individual characteristics such as personality traits, process characteristics, technology characteristics, and characteristics of the change process. Moreover, it can be shown that user resistance is not only related to the observed usage behavior, but also in work- and process-related consequences. The results contribute not only to IT adoption and change management literature, but also to the literature on Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) as the thesis investigates employees’ reactions to information systems in HR departments.
Chapter
The goal of this chapter is a qualitative analysis of the research models and the hypotheses developed in Chapter 4. Firstly, the case study research method, for both single and multiple case study research, is introduced. Then, the four case studies conducted are presented in detail, including the respective case background, the BPS initiative, as well as reflections on the respective BPS value creation. Finally, a cross-case analysis is presented in which the authors discuss the cases against the background of the research models developed in Chapter 4 and corroborate, respectively falsify the research hypotheses.
Chapter
The goal of this chapter is to discuss the findings of the research effort at hand. After a summary of the findings, both the quantitative and qualitative results are discussed. Then the implications of the findings for both theory and practice are presented. Finally, potential limitations to the research are identified and put into perspective.
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Chapter
The goal of this chapter is a quantitative analysis of the research models and the research hypotheses developed in Chapter 4. In a first step, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) using the Partial Least Squares (PLS) methodology as applied in this research and a set of quality criteria to evaluate PLS models are introduced. Then, the surveys conducted—“Recruiting Trends 2007 and 2009”—are presented with details on the process in focus, the construct operationalizations used, as well as the data collection and evaluation carried out. Finally, the results of the survey are presented.
Chapter
In this chapter—based on the multi-theoretical framework developed in the previous chapter—three research models around BPS are derived in subsections 3.1 to 3.3. These research models shed light on the consequences/value dimensions of BPS (i.e. analyze the impact of BPS on business process performance and its sub-dimensions time, cost, and quality, as well as on business process flexibility).1 In a first step, the chapter introduces the three research models which are used and evaluated throughout the remainder of this book. In a second step, the chapter introduces the individual constructs used in the three research models. Finally, Section 3 establishes links between the constructs and derives a set of research hypotheses per model.2
Chapter
In this chapter three research models around BPS are derived in subsections 3.1 to 3.3. These research models shed light on the consequences/value dimensions of BPS (i.e. analyze the impact of BPS on business process performance and its sub-dimensions time, cost, and quality, as well as on business process flexibility).1 In a first step, the chapter introduces the three research models which are used and evaluated throughout the remainder of this book. In a second step, the chapter introduces the individual constructs used in the three research models. Finally, Section 3 establishes links between the constructs and derives a set of research hypotheses per model.2.
Chapter
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This article analyses social networks by looking at the standard making processes. As a framework for analysis, actor network theory is chosen. Standards are of particular interest for actor network theory for they provide mechanisms to align interests of multiple social groups organized in networks that have a joint incentive in working with the standards and /or associated technologies. These social groups include scientific communities, government institutions and social movements (industrial groups, companies, and consumers) that are interested in regulating and innovating with new technologies. Standards provide the mechanisms to inscribe subsequent behaviors that are expected to become persistent over time. Standard making process is a social process. Actors are involved in the process of continuous negotiation of their interests. Due to this fact, standards became an object of analysis for scholars within the social shaping of technology theory (SST). Though usually scholars of this school take standards as material objects, they interpret technology as such, e.g., a bicycle, or a steam machines. In Information Technology (IT), domain standards are intangible. Those are electronic data exchange formats, communications protocols, signalling protocols, etc. Wireless and mobile communications in particular, being a large field of IT, represent an interesting case for analysis. Present in mobile telephony’s domain are de jure (e.g., GSM) and de facto standards (e.g., NMT). Also the broad scope and large scale of standardization processes suggests non-unified pattern of standard making and complex organizational structure. To make mobile telephony standards successful implies large networks and numerous mandatory passage points. In this paper we apply actor network theory based analysis (ANT) to the development of NMT wireless standards. Researchers interested in IT standardization, except for a few studies on electronic data interchange (EDI) by Hanseth (1997), have overlooked this approach. The acronym NMT stands for Nordisk MobilTelefon (Nordic Mobile Telephone) and it can be historically regarded as one of the best examples of Nordic cooperation in technology as NMT systems have spread quite widely around the world and it also formed an important stepping stone for the evolution of GSM standards. We chose for ANT analysis of the NMT standard making process to learn of the usefulness of theoretical framework and to understand the standard making process of NMT as a social and institutional change. In our opinion, this more than anything else, explains the success of this interesting historical incident that changed the telecommunication industry radically and made Scandinavia a powerhouse of the wireless technologies. Our approach expected to bring more understanding on how the enthusiasm of a small number of actors fostered successful development of the NMT cellular telephony standard. At the same time the NMT standard was based on concepts and visions of its developers. Yet, it was these visions and engagements that lead to distributed the big cake of the cellular world even before cutting it into pieces. The outline of the chapter is the following. In the next section, we discuss past theoretical analysis of the topic. Then we introduce new notions into ANT, such as a layer and a multilayered structure. Next we tell the story of the Nordic radio engineers’ gang. We then analyze the NMT standard’s development process as an instance of actor network mobilization. Some insights into future developments of cellular mobile communications, both from the technological and social perspectives are provided.
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A methodology for conducting the case study of a management information system (MIS) is presented. Suitable for the study of a single case, the methodology also satisfies the standard of the natural science model of scientific research.This article provides an overview of the methodological problems involved in the study of a single case, describes scientific method, presents an elucidation of how a previously published MIS case study captures the major features of scientific method, responds to the problems involved in the study of a single case, and summarizes what a scientific methodology for MIS case studies does, and does not, involve.The article also has ramifications that go beyond matters of MIS case studies alone. For MIS researchers, the article might prove interesting for addressing such fundamental issues as whether MIS research must be mathematical, statistical, or quantitative in order to be called "scientific". For MIS practitioners, the article's view of scientific method might prove interesting for empowering them to identify, for themselves, the pint at which scientific rigor is achieved in an MIS research effort, and beyond which further rigor can be called into question, especially if pursued at the expense of professional relevance.
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Purpose Standardization of materials (i.e. replacement of several materials/components by a single component that has all the functionalities of the materials/components it replaces) is one important purchasing department decision. The primary objective of this study is to examine empirically the impact of standardization of materials and purchasing procedures (standardization in purchasing) on purchasing and business performance. Design/methodology/approach To address our research problem, a survey instrument was developed and a structural model was hypothesized and tested using structural equation modeling. Data were collected from a field research on a sample of 306 manufacturing companies in Spain. Findings The results of this research indicate that standardization in purchasing has a significant positive effect on both purchasing and business performance. Thus, standardizing materials and purchasing procedures is important and may help firms to meet their materials expenditure targets, and increase the quality of materials, on‐time delivery from suppliers, inventory performance, as well as business performance. Research limitations/implications One of the limitations of the study is that the use of a single key informant could be seen as a potential limitation of the study. The study was a cross‐sectional and descriptive sample of the manufacturing industry at a given point in time. A more stringent test of the relationships between standardization in purchasing and performance requires a longitudinal study, or field experiment. Practical implications The empirically validated positive relation of standardization in purchasing to firms' performance, such as that documented in this study, can be very useful for the managers who take the initiative in standardization to promote and obtain the resources needed for the adoption of standardization of materials and purchasing procedures. Standardization in purchasing has, as this study shows, much to offer firms that wish to improve their performance. Originality/value Because there is a lack of empirical evidence about the impact of standardization of materials and purchasing procedures (standardization in purchasing) on purchasing and business performance, this paper filled an important gap in the purchasing literature.
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This article recognizes the maturity of individual-level technology-adoption research and suggests three broad future research directions. They are: (i) business process change and process standards, (ii) supply-chain technologies, and (iii) services. Each of these areas is identified based on the topics likely of interest to the readers of the Decision Sciences by closely examining Decision Sciences' editorial mission and the recent research published in it. Within each of these three different broad topic areas, a few different specific directions are identified. The directions outlined here are not meant to be exhaustive but rather potential directions that can result in a theoretical contribution to individual-level technology-adoption research and the specific topic area.
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The resource-based view of the firm attributes superior financial performance to organizational resources and capabilities. This paper develops the concept of IT as an organizational capability and empirically examines the association between IT capability and firm performance. Firm specific IT resources are classified as IT infrastructure, human IT resources, and IT-enabled intangibles. A matched-sample comparison group methodology and publicly available ratings are used to assess IT capability and firm performance. Results indicate that firms with high IT capability tend to outperform a control sample of firms on a variety of profit and cost-based performance measures.
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What is the impact of business process standardization on business process outsourcing (BPO) success? This paper argues that there is a direct impact of process standardization on BPO success, due to production cost economies, and also an indirect effect via improved contractual and relational governance resulting from better monitoring opportunities and facilitated communication and coordination. This threefold impact of standardization on BPO success is empirically confirmed using data from 335 BPO ventures in 215 German banks.
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There are often benefits to consumers and to firms from standardization of a product. We examine whether these standardization benefits can "trap" an industry in an obsolete or inferior standard when there is a better alternative available. With complete information and identical preferences among firms the answer is no; but when information is incomplete this "excess inertia" can occur. We also discuss the extent to which the problem can be overcome by communication.
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Verman (1973) was the first to call standardization a discipline. But is it, or should it be, an academic discipline as well? In this contribution we will address this question. After a short introduction we roughly assess the maturity of standardization as a scientific discipline. Then, we choose a more fundamental approach. We map the field of current and possible scientific research by characterizing the standardization phenomenon and by confronting this with a systematic listing of sciences based on the philosophy of Dooyeweerd (1955, 1957) and, then, confronting this with current standardization literature. This enables us to distinguish some blank areas on the map of standardization research and it may form the basis for future systematic standardization research. Finally we answer the question whether or not standardization is or should be an academic discipline
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- This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
Chapter
This chapter describes a best-practice model for standardization within companies based on a process approach to the development of company standards. Per process, a best practice is developed based on an investigation within six multinational companies and a review of literature, if any. The findings are benchmarked against experiences in three comparable fields: IT management, quality management, and knowledge management. Though the number of company standards exceeds the number of external standards by far, they have been neglected in standardization research. The authors hope that standards practitioners will benefit from their study and that it will stimulate researchers to pay more attention to this topic.
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This article reports on the nature of control in 78 retail department store companies. It argues that control and structure have not been clearly distinguished in the literature on organizations. Control is not the same thing as structure. Control can be conceptualized as an evaluation process which is based on the monitoring and evaluation of behavior or of outputs. Another study (Ouchi and Maguire, 1975) has established that approximately 25 percent of the variance in these control mechanisms can be explained by task characteristics and other variables at the individual level of analysis. Using the organization as the unit of analysis it seeks to uncover the relationship between structure and control. The results show that approximately 33 percent of the variance in control can be accounted for by structural characteristics, as well as by a characteristic of the environment-namely, the nature of the clientele served.
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This article describes a best practice model for standardization within companies, based on a process approach to the development of company standards. Per process, a best practice is developed based on an investigation within six multinational companies and a review of literature, if any. The findings are benchmarked against experiences in three comparable fields: IT management, quality management, and knowledge management. Though the number of company standards exceeds by far the number of external standards, they have been neglected in standardization research. The authors hope that standards practitioners will benefit from their study and that it will stimulate researchers to pay more attention to this topic.
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This article presents four standardization techniques—product, part, procurement, and process—that help mitigate the negative impacts of product variety on a firm's operations. The ability of a firm to use these standardization approaches depends on the degree to which it can modularize its products and processes, on what it is trying to achieve for its customers, and on the costs associated with standardization. The article presents a framework for thinking about these options and choosing among them.
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An abstract is not available.
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Meeting the needs of customers has always been a challenge. It is even more so for suppliers who serve customers across the world, and where the customer expects standardized processes - regardless of the country. While it is challenging to standardize critical processes in a domestic market, it is more challenging in the global, or transnational, market. This paper uses a case study to share how one organization was able to standardize their processes across the globe. Benefits derived from this effort are also provided. A framework for determining how key transnational processes can be managed and standardized is also presented.
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Information systems (IS) outsourcing has received little academic attention in the non-Western context. This paper reports on IS outsourcing strategies for the affiliated firms of the Korean conglomerate groups which possess their own IS subsidiaries. Aggregating the IS departments of the groups' firms into a separate IS division has been a major trend among the Korean conglomerate groups. The IS division is a separate corporation wholly owned by the parent group. The IS companies of the conglomerate groups occupy a major share of the Korean IS outsourcing market. This is due to the 'guaranteed' IS outsourcing contracts they secure from their groups' affiliated firms. From the affiliated firms' perspective, however, this arrangement prevents them from selecting the best IS solution provider and potentially undermines their information technology (IT) strategy. Using a contingency model based on an organization's information intensity and group influence, this paper offers a set of outsourcing strategies for the affiliated firms of the conglomerate groups. Subsequently the model and the recommended strategies are verified through multiple case studies. Results from these case studies support our model in that user satisfaction is higher when the firm's current outsourcing strategy matches the recommended strategy.
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This study examined the relationship between human resource management (HRM) controls used by executives and changes in the financial performance of their firms (ROA and sales growth). Results from 102 single product firms indicate that, as hypothesized, when the approach to HRM was based on behavior control, firm performance was higher when executives had complete knowledge of cause-effect relations. HRM based on output control had neither a direct nor a moderating effect on firm performance. When the approach to HRM was based on input control, performance was higher when standards of desirability were ambiguous. From a practical standpoint, these findings suggest that executives should be cognizant of several contingencies that might guide their choice among various approaches to HRM, as well as the effects these choices have on the performance of their firms. From a research standpoint, there are several issues raised in this study that suggest avenues for future investigation on HRM, control, and performance.
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A growing body of empirical literature supports key assertions of the resource-based view. However, most of this work examines the impact of firm-specific resources on the overall performance of a firm. In this paper it is argued that, in some circumstances, adopting the effectiveness of business processes as a dependent variable may be more appropriate than adopting overall firm performance as a dependent variable. This idea is tested by examining the determinants of the effectiveness of the customer service business process in a sample of North American insurance companies. Results are consistent with resource-based expectations, and they show that distinctive advantages observable at the process level are not necessarily reflected in firm level performance. The implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed along with a discussion of the relationship between resources and capabilities, on the one hand, and business processes, activities, and routines, on the other. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Purpose Consistency in operations is necessary for an organization's survival and growth. It is difficult to achieve consistency because of the employees' different ways of performing the same task. Employees' education, experience and skill levels determine their own styles and differences in their styles cause variations in process output. If process master's (best performers in a process) ways of performing their own tasks can be well documented, then a company will be able to standardize its operating procedures in their best forms. And, when employees follow these procedures, variations will be minimized and best quality products or services will be offered to customers. However, documenting such procedures is far from easy. The purpose of this paper is to propose a step‐by‐step framework on how to create process documents for standardization purposes. Design/methodology/approach Qualitative research was adopted for this study. Published works in the process improvement, knowledge management (KM), and project management literatures were used to build the proposed framework. Findings The roles of KM, semantics, and metadata schema were found very significant in creating process documents for standardization purposes. Practical implications Serves as a guide to practitioners who desire to standardize their operations. Originality/value A review of academic and business sources indicated that work on process standardization is conspicuously absent. This paper makes a contribution to fill this gap.
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As uncertainty in markets and technology intensifies, more companies are adopting modular product and process architectures to cope with increasing demands for individually customized products. Modularity-based manufacturing is the application of unit standardization or substitution principles to create modular components and processes that can be configured into a wide range of end products to meet specific customer needs. This study defines modularity-based manufacturing practices (MBMP), develops a valid and reliable instrument to measure MBMP, builds a framework that relates customer closeness, MBMP, and mass customization capability, and tests structural relationships within this framework using LISREL. Based on 303 responses from members of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, statistically significant and positive relationships were found among customer closeness, modularity-based manufacturing practices, and mass customization capability. Managerial implications of the empirical findings of this study and future research directions are also discussed.
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This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies-from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
Article
Information systems (IS) outsourcing has received little academic attention in the non-Western context. This paper reports on IS outsourcing strategies for the affiliated firms of the Korean conglomerate groups which possess their own IS subsidiaries. Aggregating the IS departments of the groups' firms into a separate IS division has been a major trend among the Korean conglomerate groups. The IS division is a separate corporation wholly owned by the parent group. The IS companies of the conglomerate groups occupy a major share of the Korean IS outsourcing market. This is due to the ‘guaranteed’ IS outsourcing contracts they secure from their groups' affiliated firms.From the affiliated firms' perspective, however, this arrangement prevents them from selecting the best IS solution provider and potentially undermines their information technology (IT) strategy. Using a contingency model based on an organization's information intensity and group influence, this paper offers a set of outsourcing strategies for the affiliated firms of the conglomerate groups. Subsequently the model and the recommended strategies are verified through multiple case studies. Results from these case studies support our model in that user satisfaction is higher when the firm's current outsourcing strategy matches the recommended strategy.
Conference Paper
Are standardized business processes less risky to outsource? Despite the importance, of both areas, neither the outsourcing nor standardization literature has so far offered a conclusive picture of the value of standards to outsourcing. We aim to provide an exploratory first step by suggesting that process standards have a positive impact on business process outsourcing (BPO) risk. Theoretically drawing from perceived risk theory and the theory of reasoned action we develop a model of BPO risk and empirically show that indeed risk perception is higher for less standardized processes. Using data from 126 German banks, it turns out that financial and performance risks significantly differ between high- and low-standardized processes and are consistently higher for low-standardized processes. While this work is very explanatory and the findings are quite preliminary, they are very encouraging as they indicate promising further research into the value of standards for business and outsourcing
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Discusses practices for managing information technology (IT) professionals. Assessment of business practices to determine staff recruitment and retention capabilities
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Despite the importance to researchers, managers, and policy makers of how information technology (IT) contributes to organizational performance, there is uncertainty and debate about what we know and don’t know. A review of the literature reveals that studies examining the association between information technology and organizational performance are divergent in how they conceptualize key constructs and their interrelationships. We develop a model of IT business value based in the resource-based view of the firm that integrates the various strands of research into a single framework. We apply the integrative model to synthesize what is known about IT business value and guide future research by developing propositions and suggesting a research agenda. A principal finding is that IT is valuable, but the extent and dimensions are dependent upon internal and external factors, including complementary organizational resources of the firm and its trading partners, as well as the competitive and macro environment. Our analysis provides a blueprint to guide future research and facilitate knowledge accumulation and creation concerning the organizational performance impacts of information technology.
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The importance of both information technology (IT) and business process redesign (BPR) is well known to industrial engineers. IT is used in industrial engineering (IE) as an analysis and modeling tool, and IE have often taken lead in applying IT to manufacturing environments. In most cases where IT has been used to redesign work, the redesign has most likely been in the manufacturing function and IE are the most likely individuals to have carried it out. The relationship between IT and BPR are discussed which changes the way the discipline is practiced in the profession of IEs.
Article
Standardization is about risk managment for an industry which is built on the belief that openness is essential, and that the result will benefit all participants. Although it represents both an ideal principle and a less pragmatic reality, business writers and theorists often overlook the shared belief in the benefits of standards that became a driving force of standards in the IT industry's infrastructure. In fact, standardization provides a consensus-driven path for the IT industry's future growth.
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  • C Shapiro
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Process standardization proves profitable
  • A Ramakumar
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Standardization and related activities -General vocabulary, International Organisation for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission
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What are process standards?
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  • T Weitzel
Muenstermann, B. and Weitzel, T. (2008) What are process standards?, Proceedings of the 2008 International Conference on Information Resources Management (Conf-IRM 2008).
Case Study Research: Design and Methods
  • R K Yin
Yin, R. K. (2003) Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, London, New Dehli.