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Abstract

Information systems students need to be prepared to understand and manage unfolding dynamics in businesses operating in a digital world. We present a university course that systematically integrates knowledge from two streams of research that deal with dynamics: business process management and routine dynamics. Both streams of research study processes, dynamics, and change, but from different perspectives and with different methods and approaches. Our course synthesizes concepts, methods, and theories from routine dynamics with traditional business process management education, to provide students with competences to not only design business processes but also recognize, explain, and react to process dynamics. We present two variants of our course design, which we implemented and delivered at two European universities to students who had different levels of prior knowledge about business process management. We report on evaluations, provide recommendations for teaching and point to implications for research. All course materials are freely available at www.bpm-and-routines.com.
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Managing Process Dynamics in a Digital World:
Integrating Business Process Management and Routine Dynamics in IS
Curricula*
Thomas Grisold1, Bastian Wurm2, Jan vom Brocke1, Waldemar Kremser3, Jan Mendling4, Jan
Recker5
1 University of Liechtenstein (thomas.grisold@uni.li; jan.vom.brocke@uni.li)
2 LMU Munich School of Management (bastian.wurm@lmu.de)
3 Johannes Kepler University Linz (waldemar.kremser@jku.at)
4 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (jan.mendling@hu-berlin.de)
4 University of Hamburg (jan.christof.recker@uni-hamburg.de)
Abstract
Information systems students need to be prepared to understand and manage unfolding
dynamics in businesses operating in a digital world. We present a university course that
systematically integrates knowledge from two streams of research that deal with dynamics:
business process management and routine dynamics. Both streams of research study
processes, dynamics, and change, but from different perspectives and with different methods
and approaches. Our course synthesizes concepts, methods, and theories from routine
dynamics with traditional business process management education, to provide students with
competences to not only design business processes but also recognize, explain, and react to
process dynamics. We present two variants of our course design, which we implemented and
delivered at two European universities to students who had different levels of prior knowledge
about business process management. We report on evaluations, provide recommendations
for teaching and point to implications for research. All course materials are freely available at
www.bpm-and-routines.com.
Introduction
Business Process Management (BPM) is a core module in many information systems
curricula (Topi et al., 2017). BPM is concerned with the development of methods, tools and
frameworks to design, implement and manage business processes in organizations (Dumas,
La Rosa, Mendling, & Reijers, 2018; vom Brocke & Rosemann, 2010). Traditionally, BPM has
been embracing a prescriptive focus, providing process managers with recommendations
and guidelines on how to design and manage work processes (Mendling, Berente, Seidel, &
Grisold, 2021; Mendling, Pentland, & Recker, 2020). This focus is mirrored in BPM-related
university courses that convey various skills and competences to support BPM initiatives in
* Please cite as: Grisold, T., Wurm, B., vom Brocke, J., Kremser, W., Mendling, J., Recker, J. (2022).
Managing Process Dynamics in a Digital World: Integrating Business Process Management and
Routine Dynamics in IS Curricula. Communications of the Association for Information Systems.
Note: This article has been accepted for publication in the Communications of the Association for Information
Systems but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process. This may
lead to differences between this version and the final version.
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organizations (e.g. Bergener, vom Brocke, Hofmann, Stein, & vom Brocke, 2012; Recker &
Rosemann, 2009; Saraswat, Anderson, & Chircu, 2014; vom Brocke et al., 2020; vom Brocke
& Rosemann, 2015a; vom Brocke, Seidel, & Tumbas, 2015).
Without doubt, prescriptive knowledge in the form of tools, methods and frameworks is
important for aspiring process analysts and managers (Müller, Schmiedel, Gorbacheva, & vom
Brocke, 2016), as it directs their attention toward effective and efficient ‘to be’-processes (e.g.
vom Brocke, Mendling, & Rosemann, 2021). However, what receives comparably little
attention in BPM education, is a descriptive focus on how business processes really unfold. A
descriptive focus implies shifting attention to the ‘as is’-processes as they actually run in an
organization (Andrews, Suriadi, Wynn, ter Hofstede, & Rothwell, 2018; Davenport & Spanyi,
2019; König, Linhart, & Röglinger, 2019). While process mining applications have brought to
light that business process performances often diverge from process models in considerable
ways (Gunther, Rinderle-Ma, Reichert, Van Der Aalst, & Recker, 2008; Jans, Alles, & Vasarhelyi,
2014; van der Aalst et al., 2007), the widespread assumption in the field is still that actors will
or at least should follow pre-designed process models (Baiyere, Salmela, & Tapanainen, 2020).
But through the ongoing increasing digitalization of everyday experiences, many process
design and improvement initiatives enacted in practice on top of digital infrastructure
(Bygstad & Øvrelid, 2020) or enabled by digital innovations (Baiyere et al., 2020) no longer
follow the classical prescriptive top-down approach of BPM. Instead, they follow a blended
logic that also integrates bottom-up dynamics (Badakhshan, Conboy, Grisold, & vom Brocke,
2019; Baiyere et al., 2020; Mendling et al., 2020). A shift towards ‘as is’-processes implies that
process managers and analysts become attentive and sensitive to thesometimes subtle
dynamics that unfold in business processes as they are performed and enacted (Huising, 2019;
Pentland, Vaast, & Ryan Wolf, 2021).
In this teaching report, we present a university course to equip information systems students
with an interest in BPM with additional, complementary competencies to recognize and
understand the dynamics emerging in business processes during performance. To this end,
we draw on routine dynamics (RD) (Feldman & Pentland, 2003; Feldman, Pentland, D'Adderio,
et al., 2021) and demonstrate how RD concepts can be integrated into a BPM curriculum. Like
BPM, RD research also studies business processes (Mendling et al., 2021) but it takes a
different focus. Located in the broader field of organization studies, it strives to understand
why and how processes are enacted in particular ways (Feldman, Pentland, D’Adderio, &
Lazaric, 2016), to identify and explain intended as well as unintended dynamics that emerge
in organizational work (Feldman, 2016). From this perspective, insights from RD research can
be used to equip BPM students with competencies for recognizing and handling emergent
dynamics of business processes as they are performed. From a more abstract point of view,
our report illustrates how we can integrate contributions from different disciplines to advance
our understanding of processual dynamics (Pentland et al., 2021; vom Brocke, Van Der Aalst,
et al., 2021).
In the following, we describe and explain the structure and content of a university-level course
that systematically connects BPM and RD research. We implemented and taught this design
in two courses at two European universities in 2020 and 2021. In one course, we drew on the
BPM lifecycle (Dumas et al., 2018) to structure the course and then contrasted the BPM and
RD research streams along the phases process identification and process discovery. In the
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other course, we foregrounded process theory, the ontological background of RD research
(Langley & Tsoukas, 2017), as our course structure and mapped empirical findings from that
stream to BPM concepts. We present the structure of both course designs, report on student
evaluations we received on both, and develop recommendations for teaching. All lecture
materials are freely available for teaching at www.bpm-and-routines.com.
Business Process Management and Routine Dynamics
BPM provides recommendations for managers and organizations to design and manage
efficient and effective business processes. Research has developed frameworks that shed light
on different aspects of BPM. The BPM lifecycle describes in an idealized way how processes
can be managed (Dumas et al., 2018), including, for instance, the design and implementation
of business processes. Also, it has been suggested that organizational capabilities for
successful BPM form around six pillars, including strategic alignment, governance, methods,
information technology, people and culture (Rosemann & vom Brocke, 2015; Schmiedel,
Recker, & vom Brocke, 2020). University courses typically build onto these frameworks, and
either progress along the entire lifecycle (Dumas et al., 2018) or zoom into specific aspects of
BPM, such as process modeling (Recker & Rosemann, 2009).
At least since the advent of process mining technology (Van Der Aalst, 2016; Van der Aalst,
Weijters, & Maruster, 2004), BPM scholarship has become more interested in the dynamics
of business processes (vom Brocke, Van Der Aalst, et al., 2021), that is, the recognition of how
and why processes unfold as they are enacted. The main interest of BPM is to balance its focus
on ‘to be’-processes with an equal attention to ‘as is’-processes (Davenport & Spanyi, 2019).
To this end, insights obtained through process mining, for example, reveal that business
processes often exhibit a large number of variants (e.g. Andrews et al., 2018; Van Der Aalst,
2011). Also, proponents of social BPM (Suša Vugec, Tomičić-Pupek, & Vukšić, 2018) argue that
BPM research should direct more attention to the social dynamics of organizational work in
order to better understand collaboration and coordination issues that are often ignored in
process designs. Furthermore, studies on context-aware BPM (Bose & Van der Aalst, 2009;
Rosemann, Recker, & Flender, 2008; Weber, Grisold, vom Brocke, & Kamm, 2021) have long
questioned the applicability of a ‘one size fits all’-approach in process design; they advocate
for obtaining an in-depth analysis of contextual requirements reflected in process designs.
Furthermore, it has been argued that the dynamics emerging from digital innovation and
transformation defy the established logics of BPM (e.g. that all relevant behaviors should be
modelled and actors will follow these models, see Baiyere et al., 2020) because much of what
will happen in the future cannot be anticipated in the present (Mendling et al., 2020).
One of the moves to expand the assumptions of BPM (Baiyere et al., 2020; Mendling et al.,
2020; Recker, 2014) has been to connect BPM research with research on routine dynamics
(RD). At the core of RD research (e.g. Feldman & Pentland, 2003; Feldman, Pentland,
D’Adderio, et al., 2021; Feldman et al., 2016) is the insight that business processes and other
organizational routines are not as stable as assumed. While, from a distance, routines often
appear to be inert, a closer look reveals their endogenous dynamics which, over time, will also
change their structure. Through an in-depth exploration of these endogenous dynamics, this
research community has developed concepts and methods to unravel and explain the
continuous change of routines. One central idea is that a routine has an ostensive aspect (how
the routine is understood) and a performative aspect (how the routine is being enacted at a
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specific point in time), and that a routine changes over time because these two aspects
recursively interplay. RD researchers study different phenomena involved in organizational
work, for example, how actors learn (Dittrich, Guérard, & Seidl, 2016), coordinate (Dionysiou
& Tsoukas, 2013), find workarounds (Pentland et al., 2021) or prioritize tasks (Kremser &
Blagoev, 2021). From a methodological point of view, routine dynamics is strongly driven by
observational field research, primarily drawing on qualitative methods, such as interviews and
ethnographies (e.g. Dittrich et al., 2016; Kremser & Blagoev, 2021).
Concepts and methods from RD can be useful to foreground and explain aspects of business
processes that have received little attention in established BPM research (Beverungen, 2014).
For example, it has been argued that the implementation of process mining can trigger
unexpected dynamics in organizations, which can be explained through insights from RD
(Grisold, Mendling, Otto, & vom Brocke, 2020, see e.g. Berente et al. 2016). Relatedly,
Mendling et al. (2020) argue that RD also provides a useful perspective to shed light on the
dynamics surrounding digital innovation which can often not be fully anticipated.
Table 1 contrasts the two fields of BPM and RD. It shows that both fields study the same
phenomenon that is, work processes in organization but they do so with different objectives
and interests. The exemplary research questions and studies underline that BPM and RD
provide complementary perspectives on similar research themes.
Business Process Management
Routine Dynamics
Core phenomenon
Business process as “collection of
activities that takes one or more kinds
of input that is of value to the
customer (Hammer & Champy,
1993, p. 35)
Organizational routine as repetitive,
recognizable patterns of
interdependent organizational actions
carried out by multiple actors
(Feldman & Pentland, 2003, p. 95)
Research objective
Largely prescriptive; designing
organizational work with respect to
certain key performance indicators
(Dumas et al., 2018)
Largely descriptive and explanatory;
studying how routines form, change
and dissolve in intended as well as
unintended ways (Feldman et al., 2016)
Knowledge contribution
Frameworks, tools and
(computational) methods to support
the design and management of
business processes (e.g. Dumas et al.,
2018; Rosemann & vom Brocke,
2015)
Theories to explain the dynamics of
organizational routines through
inductive research designs, drawing on
interviews and/or ethnography (e.g.
Dittrich, 2021; Feldman et al., 2016)
Exemplary research
questions
- How to (re-)design a business
process in optimal ways? (e.g.
Reijers & Mansar, 2005)
- How to support business
processes through digital
technologies? (e.g. Mendling et
al., 2018)
- How to predict and proactively
manage business process
performance? (e.g. Breuker,
Matzner, Delfmann, & Becker,
2016)
- Why and how do routines diverge
from intended designs? (Pentland
& Feldman, 2008)
- Why and how do digital
technologies change routines in
(un-)anticipated ways? (Berente,
Lyytinen, Yoo, & King, 2016)
- Why and how do organizational
actors adjust routines in light of
anticipated future events? (Dittrich
& Seidl, 2018)
Table 1: Contrasting business process management and routine dynamics research (see Mendling et al., 2021;
Mendling et al., 2020; Wurm, Grisold, Mendling, & vom Brocke, 2021)
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A Higher Education Course Integrating BPM and RD
This section presents the design of a university-level course that we called “BPM and
Organizational Practice”. It sets out to teach aspiring process analysts and managers to
become more attentive to ‘as is’-processes as they unfold in organizations. In analogy to
Schoen (1983), our course aims to educate reflective process practitioners’: process
managers and analysts who are able to recognize, understand and deal with process
dynamics, and adjust their management practices, if needed. We taught this course at two
European universities (WU Vienna and University of Liechtenstein) to two student audiences
with different backgrounds (Bachelor and Master students) in 2020 and 2021. Accordingly, we
developed two versions of this course.
Course design 1 was taught at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna),
Austria, and targeted Bachelor students enrolled in the study programs business
administration”, “business law”, or “information systems” with the specialization “Process
and Knowledge Management”. Students in this specialization have little to no prior knowledge
about BPM. Course design 1 first introduces core concepts of BPM before gradually presenting
insights from routine dynamics.
Course design 2 was taught at the University of Liechtenstein as an elective course to students
enrolled in the Master program “Information Systems”. Prior to taking the course, the
students completed BPM courses that provided them with received advanced knowledge,
including key frameworks, such as the BPM lifecycle (Dumas et al., 2018) and the BPM
capability framework (vom Brocke & Rosemann, 2015b). Furthermore, the students
previously attended courses on information systems design, implementation and
management. Course design 2 starts by drawing on the implications of strong process theory
(Tsoukas & Chia, 2002) as the ontological background of routine dynamics research before it
maps them against concepts in BPM. We describe both courses in the following.
Course Design 1
Course design 1 was developed as an elective course for students in the bachelor
specialization “Process and Knowledge Management” at WU Vienna. The course is awarded
with 3 ECTS
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points. Depending on their study program (“business administration”,
“information systems”, or “business law”), students may or may not have had previous touch
points with business processes and the management of information systems. Students in the
study programs information systems and business administration typically have some
knowledge on (process) modelling. Students enrolled in business law typically do not have
prior relevant knowledge.
Against this background, course design 1 provides an introduction to the management of
organizational processes while it does not assume any prior knowledge. As such, the course
combines the most fundamental aspects and techniques from BPM with theoretical insights
from routines dynamics research. The overarching goal of the course is to educate aspiring
1
ECTS stands for “European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System”; 1 ECTS point corresponds to 25
working hours on the side of students (including taught units and private study time)
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process analysts who can design, analyze, and manage organizational processes, but also
understand their endogenous dynamics.
To do so, course design 1 draws on the BPM lifecycle (Dumas et al., 2018) and compares BPM
and RD along two phases: process identification and process discovery. It reflects on key
research themes in BPM, teaching students how to create process models (Mendling, Reijers,
& van der Aalst, 2010) and discover processes from digital trace data through process mining
(Van Der Aalst, 2016). Furthermore, it discusses principles of ethnographic fieldwork (Dittrich,
2021) and puts an explicit focus on how information technology influences and is influenced
by the endogenous dynamics of organizational processes (e.g. Berente et al., 2016).
Table 2 summarizes course design 1. Overall, the course consists out of 8 lectures. The course
starts with a general introduction to organizational processes, contrasting BPM and
organizational routines (Mendling et al., 2021; Wurm et al., 2021). It then continues with the
lifecycle phases of process identification and process discovery. Afterwards, the last lectures
focus on organizational routines and the role of information technology in their dynamics.
Each lecture comprises explanations of theoretical aspects, concepts, and techniques
combined with exercises and questions for reflection. In addition to the work in class, students
carry out a small individual project where they collect ethnographic data on a process of their
choice and analyze their data using a process mining software. Each lecture starts with a recap
of the previous one. The syllabus of course design 1 and details of each lecture are provided
in Appendix 1.
Audience
Bachelor students
Required knowledge
None
Intended learning outcomes
- Competences to identify, model, and analyze business processes
- Awareness about dynamics that emerge in business processes
(Suggested) number of lectures
- 8 (3 hours each with lectures being held weekly or bi-weekly)
Key contents
- Process discovery
- Process modeling using BPMN
- Ethnography
- Process mining
- Dynamics of organizational processes
Exercises
- Process modeling
- Hands-on-exercise on ethnography
- Computational process analysis (process mining)
Workload
- 75 hours (3 ECTS)
Table 2: Summary of course design 1
Course Design 2
Course design 2 was designed for students enrolled in the Master program Information
Systems at the University of Liechtenstein. Students who take this course are in their second
semester. In the first semester, these students attended a 6 ECTS course on BPM that provided
them with a comprehensive introduction to key frameworks (Dumas et al., 2018; vom Brocke
& Rosemann, 2015b) and basic concepts, such as business process design. They also learned
about the role of information systems, such as process mining and ERP systems, in business
processes.
Course design 2 is offered as an elective course for students who wish to deepen their
knowledge about BPM. The course emphasizes that the management of business processes
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does not necessarily follow linear models and frameworks as they were acquainted with in
the first semester. The course shows that business processes, and the implementation and
use of information systems in business processes, can trigger unexpected dynamics that
process managers need to respond to. Therefore, the expected benefit for students is that
they develop an awareness for such dynamics as well as competences to deal with them.
Epistemologically speaking, the aim of this course is to complement students’ theoretical
knowledge about BPM with knowledge on how they can apply it in practice (Eraut, 1985).
To this end, course design 2 foregrounds strong process theory as an ontological background
of routine dynamics (Goh & Pentland, 2019; Tsoukas & Chia, 2002). At its core, strong process
theory suggests that the world is in “volatile flux” (Rescher, 2000, p. 5) and a constant state of
becoming. Accordingly, we perceive a world that is relatively stable but in fact, it is dynamically
changing and evolving (Chia, 1999). Hence, studying (organizational) phenomena from the
perspective of strong process theory foregrounds processual dynamics at different scales and
examines how these phenomena are constantly ‘in the making’ (Langley & Tsoukas, 2017).
Thinking in terms of strong process theory provides students with an increasing awareness
that dynamics in business process performance occur on an everyday basis, but can be very
subtle.
Table 3 summarizes course design 2. It comprises 8 lectures. Besides strong process theory
(Rescher, 2000), the course touches upon topics related to BPM, especially focusing on its key
assumptions (Baiyere et al., 2020). Furthermore, it contrasts BPM with RD along specific
themes. In particular, it highlights the role of learning and coordination (e.g. Dionysiou &
Tsoukas, 2013), and IT implementation (e.g. Berente et al., 2016). Each lecture has a practical
part where students perform hands-on exercises to reflect on theoretical content. We provide
mandatory as well as suggested readings for each lecture. The syllabus and a detailed
description of each lecture is presented in Appendix 2.
Audience
Master students
Required knowledge
- Advanced; knowledge about key models, frameworks and basic
concepts of BPM
- Basic knowledge about information systems use, design,
implementation and management
Intended learning outcomes
- Awareness about dynamics that emerge in business processes
- Competences to recognize and manage such dynamics
(Suggested) number of lectures
- 8 (3.5 hours each with lectures being held weekly or bi-weekly)
Key contents
- Process ontology
- Underlying assumptions of BPM
- Contrasting BPM and RD along specific themes (e.g. learning and
coordination)
Exercises
- Reading exercises
- Computational process analysis (process mining)
- Hands-on-exercise on ethnography
Workload
- 100 hours (4 ECTS)
Table 3: Summary of course design 2
Feedback and Evaluations
We delivered two iterations of each course design at two European universities. We evaluated
all courses with regards to course structure, contents, and opportunities for improvement.
Table 4 provides an overview the evaluations. Overall, the evaluations indicated that students
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were very satisfied with both course designs. For course design 1, students mainly highlighted
didactical elements. They reported that the various examples from practice and the project
work helped them to better understand the contents discussed in class. With respect to course
design 2, students emphasized that the course helped them to understand how and why
organizational processes change and how this complements traditional BPM. We present
detailed evaluations and student feedback for each course design next.
Course design 1
Course design 2
- Overall very positive, especially due to
relevance for practice (e.g. use of
digital tools)
- Overall very positive, especially due to
relevance for practice (e.g. hands-on
exercises and examples)
- Competences to identify, model, and
analyze business processes
- Awareness about dynamics that
emerge in business processes
- Awareness around emerging dynamics in
business processes and business
environments in more general terms
- Competences to recognize and manage
these dynamics
- Course environment and discussions
- Examples from practice
- Use of digital tools for process
modeling and process mining
- Project work to apply course contents
to a real-life process
- Understand how and why organizational
processes change
- Process model/reality-divide
- More realistic understanding of
(organizational) change
- Assignment on process modeling
instead of reflection exercise
(suggestion implemented)
- More real-world examples
Table 4: Summary of course feedback and evaluations
Course design 1:
Course design 1 was taught thrice at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in
winter semester 2020/2021, summer semester 2021, and winter semester 2021/2022
respectively. Overall, 38 students attended the course. Due to the Covid-pandemic, all courses
were taught virtually. While teaching the course, we made slight adaptations to account for
student feedback, but we generally closely followed the syllabus (see Appendix 1). We tried
to make lectures as interactive as possible and provide ample room for discussions.
We conducted two evaluations of course design 1. The first evaluation followed the standard
template for evaluations at WU Vienna that is amendable only to a limited extend. We
conducted an additional customized evaluation that addressed more specific aspects of
course design 1. Both course evaluations covered didactical aspects as well as feedback on the
course contents. We received 25 responses for the first and 12 responses for the second
evaluation, respectively.
In the evaluation, students highlighted the interactive environment that helped them to
reflect on the course content of the course.
“The practice examples in class. The environment […] enables a work-environment where students want to
participate, because you get value out of it”(Student, winter semester 2020/2021)
“Especially good were the discussions, which help to understand the content.” (Student, winter semester
2020/2021)
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Students emphasized that the examples used in class helped to better understand the covered
theoretical concepts.
“Lots of examples, which were very good to understand the topics. Very interactive. (Student, summer semester
2021)
“Especially the examples from practice (NASA, train maintenance) were very interesting, which make
understanding the theoretical part much easier. Additionally, I believe that through the practical orientation, the
content will remain longer and more sustainably in the heads of students (Student, winter semester 2020/2021)
“Even more practical examples would be nice.” (Student, winter semester 2020/2021)
Students found the use of the different tools (Signavio and Celonis) in class not only
instructive, but also fun:
„It was really fun and instructive. I was never working with such tools before. The instructor really taught me to
work with analytical tools.“ (Student, summer semester 2021)
„Give process mining a try, it might change your way of thinking or improve your daily life.“ (Student, winter
semester 2020/2021)
It was actually fun, I honestly didnt expect that. I felt like a detective during the process, would love to work as
a process analyst.” (Student, winter semester 2021/2022)
The student projects were found to be an important component of the course as they help
students to apply the course content to real-life processes. Student stated:
„The project work was very important to learn how to apply the theory.“ (Student, summer semester 2021)
Brilliant. Link between project work and lecture was very strong and with that you learn the most.” (Student,
winter semester 2021/2022)
It should be noted that even during lock-down, students did not have major problems
collecting data for their projects. Multiple students stated that the findings gained through
their project work were insightful. One student who investigated the coffee making process
in his shared flat commented:
"The results will be discussed with my flatmates and maybe one or the other will change their behavior at the
coffee machine" (Student, winter semester 2020/2021)
After the first iteration of the course during the winter semester 2020/2021, one student
suggested to replace the initial reflection exercise on the overall course with an assignment
on process modelling:
“Not necessary is in my opinion the reflection paper. Instead of it, one could create smaller exercises that should
be completed before the exam in order to practice the modelling of processes. This would prepare the students
additionally for the exam and would thus be more advantageous than the reflection exercise. (Student, winter
semester 2020/2021)
The suggestion by the student was used to adjust the curriculum. Now, the assignment on
process modeling helps to capture students’ knowledge and check whether clarifications are
required.
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In summary, the course was successful in introducing students to BPM and RD. The evaluation
indicates that students especially profited from the use of tools in class and the application of
the course contents throughout their project work to a real-life process of their choice.
Course design 2:
We taught course design 2 at the University of Liechtenstein in summer terms 2020 and 2021.
In total, 32 Master students participated and 28 took part in the evaluation. Due to Corona,
we could not entirely follow the syllabus as outlined in Appendix 2. This was due to the shift
to virtual teaching and the fact that we could not conduct all group works as they were
designed. Despite the shift to virtual teaching, we held highly interactive lectures and
extensive discussion rounds. We also invited guest lecturers (e.g. from Celonis, a world-
leading process mining provider) who provided additional insights on business process
dynamics.
The evaluation was customized to ask targeted questions about (1) the extent to which the
connection between BPM and RD was comprehensible, (2) the means by which the course
materials were presented, and (3) the implications that students see for practice. In the
following, we provide statements from the evaluations.
The evaluations indicate that the course was successful in conveying the connection between
BPM and RD. One student indicated that one of the key insights s/he obtained was about
the different drivers of change and the aspects of it. Because it helps to further understand WHY things are
happening and WHY people are behaving in a certain way (Student, Summer term 2020)
Another student indicated that he/she gained
an understanding that simply modelling everything "to the ground" and trying to micromanage it might not be
the best way to handle process management in every scenario. […]. Especially in scenarios with highly dynamic
organizations applying routine dynamics practices is a more than valid alternative (Student, Summer term 2021)
Students reported that they see much practical value in this course. Many of them were or
are working companies and they found utility in being able to shift their attention to subtle
dynamics in organizational work. One student reported on the following key take-away:
A different, probably more realistic understanding of (organizational) change and that those little actions taken
by each and everyone on any given day can and do make a huge difference when looking at the organizational
context. Additionally, more awareness for routines in general - how they are created, changed and what happens
when a new person joins a group of people that has a routine established already. In contrast to many hard skills
taught an university, this knowledge can be applied each and every day - thereby helping a lot! (Student, Summer
term 2021)
One student also reported that the implications of strong process theory have implications for
his/her work beyond business process management. He/she notes that
I will take with me the strong process theory that everything is constantly becoming but we normally tend to
think of something as stable. This is something I take with me as it helped me in my personal life as well - Another
part is the way that we learn with social interaction and decrease uncertainty. […] (Student, Summer term 2021).
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In terms of improvement, students indicated that in addition to the empirical insights
provided by studies on RD, they would appreciate more connections to real-world examples
and actual business cases. One student noted that
I think at Uni we covered most of the aspects and in depth topics but it would more interactive if there will more
real time examples and cases (Student, Summer term 2020)
In a similar vein, one student reported that
I believe that this course helped to further enhance my understanding of these dynamics, but I would have liked
to see more practical cases during the class on ways to really implement this thinking / dynamics into a business.
(Student, Summer term 2021)
Taken together, the course fulfilled the goal to connect BPM and RD and provide students
with an awareness towards dynamics that emerge in business processes. More in-depth
examples can be provided.
Discussion
Recommendations for teaching
We recommend considering the following points when teaching one of the two course
designs.
First, start simple. Both course design 1 and 2 blend two entirely different streams of literature
and ideas, and it is important that students gradually learn each area’s key concepts first
before relating them to one another. Based on our experience, it is advisable to start lectures
with brief ‘re-cap sessions’ to state the 3-5 key take-aways of the previous lecture. This proved
useful for students as they could repeat what has been discussed before, but also for lecturers
because they could assess whether all concepts have been understood correctly. The basic
tenets of strong process theory in course design 2, for example, initially appeared counter-
intuitive to most students as they tend to implicitly assume a substantialist view on the world
when they think about change (Chia, 1999). Repeating the idea of strong process theory
helped them to understand its implications. We also observed that explanations and exercises
should be based on examples and processes that are familiar to students (Recker & Rosemann,
2009), such that none or very little domain knowledge is needed and students can fully focus
on the concepts and theories being introduced. It is also useful to reflect on all concepts with
regards to their practical implications. Guiding questions can be: How does a given concept
allow us to see aspects of organizational work which remained unknown before? How does a
given concept inform management activities?
Furthermore, we recommend to continuously complement abstract knowledge (e.g.
concepts, assumptions) with hands-on exercises. An important factor for the positive
evaluations of our course designs was that students could continuously reflect on how the
theoretical content adds actual value to business process management in organizations.
Besides manual exercises on business process modeling, design and ethnography, we also
included exercises that involve new digital tools and methods, such as process mining or
process modeling in a virtual environment. We did so for two reasons. On the one hand, these
tools create additional awareness around dynamics in business processes. On the other hand,
12
students will presumably deal with them in their future careers as these digital tools become
more and more prevalent in business processes (for the case of process mining, see e.g.
Gartner, 2019),. We chose tools that are free for students, widely used in practice, and easy
to learn (more details can be found in the Appendix).
Finally, we recommend to design the final exam such that it reflects whether students can
translate the contents of the course into practical implications. The course contents provide
ample opportunities for doing so. We provided them with tasks, for example, where they were
asked to explain the relevance of a given concept for planning and decision-making, argue for
its strengths and weaknesses, and provide own examples when explaining the concept. In
course design 2, we included a case study where students should develop a BPM approach
that is based on insights from RD. The exams are not freely available on the website but the
corresponding author of this paper is happy to share them upon request.
Implications for research
We also see a number of implications for information systems research, and the management
field in broader terms.
First, our work follows a recent interest to revisit the assumptions and logics of BPM in the
digital age (Baiyere et al., 2020; Kerpedzhiev, König, Röglinger, & Rosemann, 2020; Mendling
et al., 2020). Core to this emerging body of knowledge is the observation that digital
innovation is driven by rapid dynamics, unforeseen changes and unprecedented novelty
(Benbya, Nan, Tanriverdi, & Yoo, 2020; Mousavi Baygi, Introna, & Hultin, 2021), which
challenges the assumption that optimal business processes can be designed in the present
and will be strictly followed in the future (Baiyere et al., 2020). We add to these works and
further specify that three aspects of business process management should receive particular
attention: business process design, implementation and management. Our course design
sheds light on how aspiring managers can pay attention to these aspects. Future research can
further study how BPM can account for dynamic working environments by focusing on these
three aspects.
Second, we advance the connection between BPM and RD. Both research communities study
business processes from different angles (Mendling et al., 2021), and several recent claims call
for a cross-fertilization among BPM and RD researchers (e.g. Mendling et al., 2020; Pentland
et al., 2021). While the majority of the existing works discuss how BPM can contribute to
routine dynamics, primarily on the grounds of computational tools (e.g. Grisold, Wurm,
Mendling, & vom Brocke, 2020; Mendling et al., 2020; Pentland, 2017; Pentland et al., 2021),
we look at this the other way around. As we integrate descriptive and explanatory insights
from RD research, we show that this stream of research can contribute to the management
of business processes in different ways. To this end, we identify key themes that are useful for
BPM, including the lexicon of routine dynamics (e.g. ostensive and performative aspects of
routinized work), empirical observations about process dynamics (e.g. unintended
consequences of information technology on business process performance) as well as
methodological approaches (e.g. ethnography). From a more abstract point of view, our
course echoes recent calls to integrate assumptions, methods and theories from fields that
pursue different yet complimentary views on processes (vom Brocke, Van Der Aalst, et al.,
13
2021). Future research can further study how our findings enable process managers in actual
work environments to recognize and manage dynamics in business processes.
Third, our work aligns with a broader interest in the management field on how organizations
and managers can deal with the dynamics of today’s business environments (e.g. Chia, 1999;
Peschl, 2019; vom Brocke, Van Der Aalst, et al., 2021). To embrace a future that is
characterized by more uncertainty, more unpredictability, and more unknowns (Rinne,
2021), a growing number of works set out to translate implications of a strong process view
into managerial recommendations (Hertz, Garcia, & Schlüter, 2020; Peschl, 2019; Rinne,
2021). We add to this emerging interest and propose methods and tools that managers can
use to integrate “fluxiness” (Rinne, 2021) into planning and decision-making. In particular, we
suggest how managers can develop awareness for work dynamics and draw on ethnography
and process mining to recognize and analyze these dynamics. Future research can examine
how and to what extend the approaches we have developed here are applicable to other
management domains, such as marketing or strategy.
Conclusion
In this teaching report, we have mapped out an innovative course design that integrates
business process management and routine dynamics research. The key idea is to teach
students how they can account for, recognize, and manage the dynamics of contemporary
organizational work. All teaching materials are available for free on www.bpm-and-
routines.com.
Acknowledgments
This work was supported by a grant from the European Union through the Erasmus+ program
[2019-1-LI01-KA203-000169]: “BPM and Organizational Theory: An Integrated Reference
Curriculum Design”. Research by Jan Mendling is funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin
under Grant No. EPP-2019524. We would like to thank Prof. Brian Pentland for his advice at
several stages of this project.
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Appendix
Appendix 1
Detailed structure and content of course design 1
The syllabus of course design 1 is shown in Table 3. Each lecture comprises explanations of
theoretical aspects, concepts, and techniques combined with exercises and reflection
questions. In addition to the work in class, students perform a small individual project where
they collect ethnographic data on a process of their choice and analyze their data using a
process mining software
2
. Each lecture starts with a recap of the previous one.
Lecture 1 provides a general introduction into the course. It includes organizational matters,
and an instruction round where students share their personal experiences with organizational
processes. Furthermore, the fields of BPM and RD are outlined along with their differences
and commonalities. Definitions of business processes and organizational routines are
compared and discussed.
Lecture 2 presents process identification and process discovery as two phases of the BPM
lifecycle (Dumas et al., 2018). Important concepts and techniques include the process
landscape model, the process portfolio as well as different approaches to process discovery
(for example, interview-based and automatic process discovery). The lecture is accompanied
by illustrative examples of local companies, for example ‘Wiener Linien’ (the public transport
provider of the city of Vienna). Several hands-on exercises are included for students to apply
the presented techniques. For example, students create a process model portfolio of a
fictitious university and identify potential interviewees for process discovery.
Lecture 3 introduces the students to process modeling with BPMN. From a conceptual point
of view, the primary language elements, its syntax and modelling conventions (Mendling et
al., 2010) are explained based on exemplary processes (Dumas et al., 2018). The lecture also
gives an introduction to the Signavio process modeling suite, the most widely used software
for collaborative process design. The lecture contains verbal descriptions of exemplary
processes and students are asked to translate them into a process model using Signavio using
AND, XOR, and OR gateways.
Lecture 4 focuses on advanced BPMN. After repeating core aspects of basic BPMN, it
continues with more complex modelling elements, including additional event types, process
decomposition and reuse, exception handling, and parallelization (Dumas et al. 2018). Again,
the lecture comprises several process modeling exercises. The assignment on process
modeling after this lecture serves to test the students’ process modeling knowledge and
assess whether there are any ambiguities that should still be discussed.
Lecture 5 combines principles of ethnographic fieldwork (e.g. Dittrich, 2021) with an
introduction to process mining (Van Der Aalst, 2016). First, it discusses the role of ethnography
in organizations and illustrates this with research from Mark de Rond about the Cambride
University Boat Club (Cambridge University, 2009). Second, it gives a hands-on demonstration
of process mining drawing on the ‘pizzeria’-use case of the process mining vendor Celonis
3
.
Last, the lecture discusses how ethnographic observations and digital trace data can be
analyzed with process mining software.
2
In this course, we used the software Celonis (www.celonis.com) which offers free licenses for students.
3
We used the pizzeria use case provided by Celonis.
20
Lecture 6 recaps and expands on the dynamics of organizational processes as introduced in
lecture 1. Furthermore, this lecture sheds light on the relationship between information
technology and organizational routines. To illustrate these dynamics, it presents Berente et
al.’s (2016) study on NASA’s implementation of an integrated financial management system.
By following the vignettes presented in the paper, students and the instructor together
analyze how organizational routines and information technology co-adapt to overcome
misalignments of information systems implementations (Berente et al., 2016). The lecture is
accompanied by a reflection exercise for students to think about how process change occurred
in processes that they are familiar with.
Lecture 7 extends the discussion on the interrelationship between organizational routines and
IT with a focus on physically-straining work. This lecture is case-based and asks the students
to transfer what they have learned so far and apply their knowledge to an unpublished case
of one of the authors. What makes the discussed case interesting is that information
technology is not used in a traditional office environment, but in the maintenance plants of
one of Europe’s largest railway provider. After the general description of the case, students
are provided with interview excerpts that describe the usage of tablet computers in different
maintenance routines. After discussions in small groups, findings are shared across groups and
the course instructor summarizes the conversation. The lecture closes with a synthesis of the
material and the discussion of open questions. The course highlights that (1) there are
different approaches to collect and present knowledge about organizational processes, (2)
processes might deviate from their intended design, and (3) there are different digital tools
for process modeling and process mining.
Finally, lecture 8 concludes the course with the exam comprising theoretical questions on BPM
and RD as well as exercises on the techniques presented in class.
Syllabus of course design 2
Lecture
No.
Lecture content
Exercise
Reading
1
- Organization
- Introduction to course
- Get to know each other
- Introduction to organizational
processes
Reflection on a process based on
students’ experience
Suggested:
Dumas et al. (2018),
Chapter 1
Wurm et al. (2021)
2
- Process identification
- Process discovery
Creation of a process portfolio for a
fictitious university; identification of
interviewees for process discovery
Suggested:
Dumas et al. (2018),
Chapters 2 and 5
3
- Basic BPMN
Process modeling exercises:
Modeling of AND, XOR, and OR
gateways
Suggested:
Dumas et al. (2018),
Chapter 3
4
- Advanced BPMN
Modeling exercises: Modeling of
rework, multi-instance activities, and
event-based gateways
Suggested:
Dumas et al. (2018),
Chapter 4
5
- Introduction to ethnography
- Process mining
Hands-on process mining walk-
through using the Celonis pizzeria
case
Suggested:
Dumas et al. (2018),
Chapters 5 and 11
6
- Introduction to routine
dynamics
- Information systems and
organizational processes
Reflection on process deviation and
process change based on students’
experience: How do (did) familiar
processes change?
Suggested:
Miller et al. (2012)
Wurm et al. (2021)
Berente et al. (2016)
21
7
- Interplay of physical work and
information technology in
organizational processes
- Synthesis
- Discussion
Analysis of interview statements
from one of the authors’ research
project
8
EXAM
Table3: Syllabus of course design 1
Appendix 2:
Detailed structure and Content of course design 2
Lecture 1 introduces students to the general idea of the course. It points to recent studies that
highlight the dynamic nature of business processes and underlines the relevance for process
analysts and managers to become more attentive to dynamics of business processes. In the
exercise part, students gather in groups of 2-3 and model a business process which at least
one of the group is familiar with (e.g. from his/her workplace). Students can use any modelling
language they know. The resulting process model is expected to have 40-50 elements
(activities and events).
Lecture 2 presents the basic principles behind strong process theory. Strong process theory
embraces the idea that the world is in a constant state of flux (Tsoukas & Chia, 2002), and the
lecture emphasizes that organizational realityincluding business process managementis
constantly changing and becoming (Langley & Tsoukas, 2017). In the practical part, students
use the process model they designed in the first lecture to discuss where, when and why
dynamics (can) occur. Students are encouraged to think of all kinds of dynamics (subtle versus
major; expected versus unexpected; likely versus unlikely).
Lecture 3 sheds light on the core assumptions of BPM, stressing that it is traditionally based
on a prescriptive focus that assumes a considerable degree of stability in organizational work.
It introduces the basic concepts of RD research and contrasts its underlying assumptions with
those of BPM (Beverungen et al., 2020; Mendling et al., 2021). The process model is once
again used to reflect on assumptions that underlie BPM. Guiding questions are; What does
BPM assume about a process? What does it assume about those who are involved in the
process? What does it assume about the environment in which an organization operates?
Lecture 4 presents the first theme from routine dynamics research. It sheds light on the role
of learning and coordination in business processes (Dionysiou & Tsoukas, 2013; Dittrich et al.,
2016). It stresses that business process performance involves human sense-making, learning
and different types of memory which are gradually built up as actors work together (Miller et
al., 2012). The exercise part familiarizes students with basic principles of ethnography.
Students are encouraged to choose a process (e.g. from their workplace, such as a daily stand-
up meeting) and conduct an ethnographic observation until the next lecture.
Lecture 5 focuses on IT implementation and intentional process change (Pentland & Feldman,
2008). Drawing on findings from routine dynamics research, the lecture conveys that new IT
systems (e.g. ERP systems) can affect business process performance in many unintended ways
(Berente et al., 2016; Volkoff, Strong, & Elmes, 2007). In the exercise part, students report on
their ethnographies and reflect on how they can use their experiences in work settings.
Lecture 6 focuses on process dynamics. It draws on recent studies (Goh & Pentland, 2019;
Pentland, Liu, Kremser, & Haerem, 2020) that measure and explain such dynamics in terms of
changes in process complexity. Lecture 6 introduces a case study where students are
22
encouraged to translate insights gained from routine dynamics research into managerial
actions and strategies.
Lecture 7 synthesizes all lectures and concludes that the connection between BPM and RD is
useful in three respects. With respect to (1) business process design, a RD perspective
underlines that there is need to integrate feedback and adjust designs after they have been
implemented (Mendling et al., 2020); (2) business process implementation, a RD perspective
stresses that new process designs and, in particular, new IT can lead to unintended side-
effects that managers need to respond to (Berente et al., 2016); (3) process management, a
RD perspective enables managers to better understand why and how dynamics occur, which
in turn, can enable effective decision-making (Dittrich et al., 2016). In the exercise part,
students continue working on the case studies, and compare and discuss their strategies at
the end of class.
Syllabus of course design 2
Lecture
No.
Lecture content
Exercise
Reading
1
- Organization
- Introduction to course
- Motivation for this course
Process modelling:
Modelling of familiar process in
group 2-3
Mandatory:
Mendling et al. (2020)
Suggested:
Huising (2019)
2
- Strong process theory
Process modelling (continued):
Discussing sources of
expected/unexpected dynamics in
modelled process
Mandatory:
Van de Ven & Poole (2005)
Suggested:
Tsoukas & Chia (2002)
Langley & Tsoukas (2017)
3
- Core assumptions in BPM
- Routine dynamics: basic
concepts
- BPM versus routine dynamics
Process modelling (continued):
Discussing assumptions about work
and people that underlie the process
model
Mandatory:
Mendling et al. (2021)
Suggested:
Baiyere et al. (2020)
Recker (2014)
4
Theme 1: Learning and
Coordination
Ethnography:
Introduction to ethnography;
selection of phenomenon to be
observed
Mandatory:
Feldman & Pentland (2003)
Suggested:
Dittrich et al. 2016
Dionysiou & Tsoukas 2013
5
Theme 2: IT implementation and
intentional process change
Ethnography (continued):
Comparing results and reflecting on
experience
Mandatory:
Berente et al. (2016)
Suggested:
Volkoff et al. (2007)
Pentland & Feldman (2007)
Grisold et al. (2020)
6
Theme 3: Process dynamics
Case Study:
Developing management
implications through routine
dynamics
Mandatory:
Goh & Pentland (2019)
Suggested:
Pentland et al. (2022)
vom Brocke et al. (2021)
Grisold et al. (2021)
23
7
- Synthesis: Implications from RD
for BPM
- Discussion
Case Study (continued):
Developing management
implications through routine
dynamics.
Mandatory:
Kremser & Xiao (2021)
Suggested:
Grisold et al. (2020)
Pentland et al. (2021)
8
EXAM
References
Berente, N., Lyytinen, K., Yoo, Y., & King, J. L. (2016). Routines as shock absorbers during
organizational transformation: Integration, control, and NASA’s enterprise
information system. Organization Science, 27(3), 551-572.
Beverungen, D., Buijs, J. C., Becker, J., Di Ciccio, C., van der Aalst, W. M., Bartelheimer, C., . . .
Leopold, H. (2020). Seven Paradoxes of Business Process Management in a Hyper-
Connected World. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 1-12.
Cambridge University, I. (Writer). (2009). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXLg9nsuo9I
[YouTube]. In.
Dionysiou, D. D., & Tsoukas, H. (2013). Understanding the (re) creation of routines from
within: A symbolic interactionist perspective. Academy of Management Review, 38(2),
181-205.
Dittrich, K., Guérard, S., & Seidl, D. (2016). Talking about routines: The role of reflective talk in
routine change. Organization Science, 27(3), 678-697.
Dumas, M., La Rosa, M., Mendling, J., & Reijers, H. A. (2018). Fundamentals of business process
management (Second Edition ed.): Springer.
Goh, K. T., & Pentland, B. T. (2019). From Actions to Paths to Patterning: Toward a Dynamic
Theory of Patterning in Routines. Academy of Management Journal, 62(6), 1901-1929.
Grisold, T., Gau, M., & Yoo, Y. (2021). Coding Like a Rockstar: The Role of Social Influence on
Actions Patterns in Guthub. Paper presented at the International Conference of
Information Systems, Austin, Texas.
Grisold, T., Mendling, J., Otto, M., & vom Brocke, J. (2020). Adoption, use and management of
process mining in practice. Business Process Management Journal, 27(2), 369-387.
Kremser, W., & Xiao, J. (2021). Self-Managed Forms of Organizing and Routine Dynamics. In
Cambridge Handbook of Routine Dynamics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University
Press.
Langley, A., & Tsoukas, H. (2017). The SAGE handbook of process organization studies: Sage.
Mendling, J., Berente, N., Seidel, S., & Grisold, T. (2021). Pluralism and Pragmatism in the
Information Systems Field: The Case of Research on Business Processes and
Organizational Routines. The Data Base for Advances in Information Systems, 52(2),
127140.
Mendling, J., Pentland, B. T., & Recker, J. (2020). Building a Complementary Agenda for
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systems, 29(3), 208-219.
Mendling, J., Reijers, H. A., & van der Aalst, W. M. (2010). Seven process modeling guidelines
(7PMG). Information and Software Technology, 52(2), 127-136.
Miller, K. D., Pentland, B. T., & Choi, S. (2012). Dynamics of performing and remembering
organizational routines. Journal of Management Studies, 49(8), 1536-1558.
24
Pentland, B. T., & Feldman, M. S. (2008). Designing routines: On the folly of designing artifacts,
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25
Thomas Grisold is an assistant professor at the Institute of Information Systems, University of
Liechtenstein. Thomas investigates how digital technologies change established ways of
organizing. His interests include knowledge and (un)learning-related aspects of organizational
work, and he is particularly interested in the intersection of organizational studies and
business process management. He acquired an managed the EU-funded project “BPM and
Organizational Practice”, which integrated research in the fields of business process
management and organizational routines (www.bpm-and-routines.com).
Bastian Wurm is a postdoc and research group leader at the Institute for Digital Management
and New Media at LMU Munich. Bastian is interested in topics at the intersection of
information systems and organization science. In particular, his research is centered around
business process change and the development of holacratic organizations. Bastian’s research
is published or forthcoming in journals such as Information Sciences and the Communications
of the Association for Information Systems. Bastian has received his doctoral degree from WU
Wien where he has previously worked as a research and teaching associate.
Jan vom Brocke is the Hilti Endowed Chair of Business Process Management and Director of
the Institute of Information Systems at the University of Liechtenstein. His work has been
published in, among others, in Management Science, MIS Quarterly, Information Systems
Research, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of the Association for
Information Systems, European Journal of Information Systems, Information Systems Journal,
Journal of Information Technology, and MIT Sloan Management Review. He has served in
many senior academic roles, including as President of the Liechtenstein Chapter of the
Association for Information Systems, as VP Education of the Association for Information
Systems, and VP Research of the University of Liechtenstein. He has been named a Fellow of
the Association for Information Systems.
In his research, Waldemar Kremser is combining a routine dynamics perspective on
organizations with insights from complexity theory and other fields like design and strategy.
He is most interested in open strategy processes, self-managing forms of organizing, self-
reinforcing dynamics and radical innovations. In exploring these phenomena empirically, he
combines ethnographic research with the analysis of various forms of digital trace data.
Waldemar has published his work in international top journals, including Administrative
Science Quarterly, MIS Quarterly, Organization Science, and Organization Theory.
Jan Mendling is the Einstein-Professor of Process Science with the Department of Computer
Science at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. His research interests include various
topics in the area of business process management and information systems. He has published
more than 450 research papers and articles, among others in Management Information
Systems Quarterly, ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, IEEE
Transactions on Software Engineering, Journal of the Association of Information Systems and
Decision Support Systems. He is a department editor for Business and Information Systems
Engineering, member of the board of the Austrian Society for Process Management
(http://prozesse.at), one of the founders of the Berlin BPM Community of Practice
(http://www.bpmb.de), organizer of several academic events on process management, and a
member of the IEEE Task Force on Process Mining. He is co-author of the textbooks
Fundamentals of Business Process Management, Second Edition, (http://fundamentals-of-
26
bpm.org/) and Wirtschaftsinformatik, 12th Edition, (https://lehrbuch-
wirtschaftsinformatik.org/), which are extensively used in information systems education.
Jan Recker is AIS fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, and Nucleus Professor for
Information Systems and Digital Innovation at the Universität Hamburg. He holds adjunct
professor positions at the University of Agder and Queensland University of Technology. His
research focuses on digital innovation and entrepreneurship, digital solutions for sustainable
development, and systems analysis and design.
... There is emerging interest around the question of how organizations can manage their business processes as they embrace such dynamics (Grisold et al. 2022). We are, however, only beginning to understand what this means for BPM in more general terms. ...
... From a managerial point of view, this also implies that managers need to attend and respond to evolving dynamics in business processes (Grisold et al. 2022). To this end, emerging digital technologies as pointed out above enable insights into process dynamics with increasing flexibility and detail (Leonardi and Treem 2020). ...
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