Process design principles in service firms: Universal or context dependent? A literature review and new research directions
Maull, Roger S.
Total Quality Management & Business Excellence
Routledge/Taylor and Francis
The aim of this article is to assess whether process design principles derived from best practices are universally applicable to service organisations or context dependent. This is achieved through a comprehensive review of the business process management (BPM) and operations management (OM) literatures. Our comparison of the existing bodies of knowledge in these disciplines reveals major inconsistencies in how the topic of process design in service environments is addressed. Drawing on the more mature, contingency-oriented OM literature, we challenge the BPM discipline which prescribes that process design principles derived from best practices are universally applicable irrespective of the context in which the service organisation operates. The results strongly suggest that in the business process design area one size does not fit all service organisations and that some design principles fit better under certain contextual conditions. We then use these findings to develop a contingency conceptual framework and associated research propositions linking the firm's service strategy context to the use of particular business process design principles. This extends existing theory and provides a platform for future process design research in service organisations that is more closely aligned with the needs of practitioners.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Total Quality Management & Business Excellence on 16/01/2012, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14783363.2011.637797#.VGxftZ1FDcs
Volume 23, Issue 11-12, 2012