The Effect of It Process Support, Process Visualization and Process Characteristics on Process Outcomes

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Business process re-engineering (part of the Business Process Management domain) is among the top three concerns of Information Technology (IT) leaders and is deemed to be one of many important IT leveraging opportunities. Two major challenges have been identified in relation to BPM and the use of IT. The first challenge is related to involving business process participants in process improvement initiatives using BPM systems. BPM technologies are considered to be primarily targeted for developers and not BPM users, and the need to engage process participants into process improvement initiatives is not addressed, contributing to the business-IT gap. The second ... continued below

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Al Beayeyz, Alaa December 2013.

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  • Al Beayeyz, Alaa

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Description

Business process re-engineering (part of the Business Process Management domain) is among the top three concerns of Information Technology (IT) leaders and is deemed to be one of many important IT leveraging opportunities. Two major challenges have been identified in relation to BPM and the use of IT. The first challenge is related to involving business process participants in process improvement initiatives using BPM systems. BPM technologies are considered to be primarily targeted for developers and not BPM users, and the need to engage process participants into process improvement initiatives is not addressed, contributing to the business-IT gap. The second challenge is related to potential de-skilling of knowledge workers when knowledge-intensive processes are automated and process knowledge resides in IT, rather than human process participants. The two identified challenges are not separate issues. Process participants need to be knowledgeable about the process in order to actively contribute to BPM initiatives, and the loss of process knowledge as a result of passive use of automated systems may further threaten their participation in process improvement. In response to the call for more research on the individual impacts of business process initiatives, the purpose of this dissertation study is to understand the relationship between IT configurations (particularly process support and process visualization), process characteristics and individual level process outcomes, such as task performance and process knowledge. In the development of the research model we rely on organizational knowledge creation literature and scaffolding in Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development, business process modeling and workflow automation research, as well as research on the influence of IT on individual performance. The theoretical model is tested empirically in experimental settings using a series of two studies. In both studies participants were asked to complete tasks as part of a business process using different versions of a mock-up information system. Together, the studies evaluate the effect of IT process support, process visualization and process complexity on process participant performance and process knowledge. The results of the studies show the significant influence of IT process support on individual process outcomes. The studies indicate that task performance does increase but at the cost of users’ process knowledge. Process visualization however is shown to enhance user’s process knowledge in the event of no formal process training while having no negative impact on task performance. The key contribution of this research is that it suggests a practical way to counteract potential negative effects of IT process automation by converting the use of the information system into a learning experience, where the IT itself acts as a scaffold for the acquisition of process knowledge. The results have practical implications for the design of workflow automation systems, as well as for process training.

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  • December 2013

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  • Nov. 8, 2014, 11:56 a.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 12:30 p.m.

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Al Beayeyz, Alaa. The Effect of It Process Support, Process Visualization and Process Characteristics on Process Outcomes, dissertation, December 2013; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407777/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .