BPR and Organisational Culture
Many companies claim to have successfully undertaken business process reengineering (BPR) and point to dramatic improvements in their competitive position. They and their management consultants have quite rightly highlighted the need to address the organisational and people issues, if BPR is to be successful. Antagonists of the BPR 'band-wagon' have pointed to the high rate of failures. They have criticised the simplistic view taken by organisations, which they say has reduced organisational culture1 issues to mere 'empowerment' and 'team-working', whilst coincidentally driving through capitalistic Taylorism into the office environment, and so creating the new sweat-shirt factories of the 20th century.
This report describes research into BPR and organisational culture change. A liturature review is first used to define BPR and then, using McKinsey's 7 S model, it is shown that full BPR has significant impact on an organisation, particularly in terms of its culture. A further liturature review highlights the complex and widely varying views of what culture is. A model proposed by Rousseau is used to describe culture's various elements. Management and acedemic views, including post-moderist, are explored as to whether culture is an unchangeable root metaphor, an uncontrollable external variable, or an independent variable that can be manipulated. The culture views of the various proponents of BPR are assessed against these various definitions.
A hypothesis is defined along with various issues. These are then used as objectives for an initial preliminary research into management's views on culture change within the context of BPR. Based on this preliminary research, the tentative findings are that organisations wishing to maximise employee behaviour as a result of implementing BPR, are advised to use a range of cultural change techniques, including both hard and soft techniques. Ideas for further research are outlined, including why the very soft techniques of organisational development and therapy appear to be little used. The report contains an extensive bibliography as well as appendices which describe in detail the research, the results of which are visually shown by means of numerous charts.
1 For shortness the term culture will be used to mean organisational culture.
To Chapter 1 Introduction
[Front Page] [Executive
[Content] [1 Introduction]
[2 BPR] [3 Culture]
[4 BPR & Culture]
[5 Preliminary Research] [6 Findings] [7 Summary] [8 Conclusions] [Appendices] [Bibliography]
Original report: January 1995 This page created: January 1998 © Managing Change 1995,96,97,98 www.managingchange.com
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