Title page for ETD etd-11072008-160945

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Van der Westhuizen, Adriana Isabella
Email adriw@absa.co.za
URN etd-11072008-160945
Document Title An assessment tool for measuring business process management as a core capability in an organization
Degree PhD
Department Human Resource Management
Advisor Name Title
Dr Y du Plessis Co-Supervisor
Dr C Hoole Supervisor
  • process
  • performance enablers
  • assessment models
  • assessment tool
  • scale development
  • business process management
  • criteria
  • critical core capability
Date 2008-09-04
Availability unrestricted

Galbraith (1995:2) states that “organizations continuously search for more effective approaches in order to survive, to remain competitive, to maintain their operations and to grow in an ever-changing and competitive environment. To achieve sustainable business results, organizations must actively manage cost, quality, product and service features by means of their efficient and effective application of managerial and operational systems within a well-designed organizational framework.”

Porter and Tanner (2004:3) argue that “in their endeavour to remain competitive organizations have over the last few decades in search of the ultimate system or methodology tried and tested all the various performance improvement approaches or performance enablers (ISO 9000, Business Process Reengineering (BPR), Business Excellence, Continuous Improvement, Total Quality Management (TQM), Just-in-Time, Project Management, Six Sigma, Lean Sigma, etcetera). Although thousands of organizations implemented these performance enablers, few organizations achieved their envisaged state of excellence.”

Kerzner (1997:2) argues that “there are only two ways in which work gets done in organizations: through business processes or through projects. Business processes are permanent work structures that transform inputs continuously into outputs as ongoing operations. Projects on the other hand are temporary work structures that shut down once the output has been achieved.”

Robbins, (1998:629) states that “since the organizations’ success or failure is essential due to the things that its employees do or fail to do (processes), any planned change must also be concerned with changing the behaviour of individuals and groups within the organization.” It is therefore critical that management does have scientific control over the function or Critical Core Capability that touches “the way things get done”.

The researcher are therefore of the opinion that business process being the core descriptor of the “how”, “what”, “when”, and “why” of every individuals daily interaction with his work, his colleagues, his organization and his clients is maybe by far the biggest factor of satisfaction, dissatisfaction, harmony or conflict in the organization and determines to a large extent what the behaviour of the individual, the groups and the organization at large will be on a daily basis.

Business Process was identified as core to all the performance enablers and was elevated to a Critical Core Capability status in many organizations. Derived from the above Business Process Management as a Critical Core Capability should encompass the four management functions, and should be supported by a proper organizational framework that includes strategy, structure, policies, procedures, and people. The literature search also confirmed that “synergy”, i.e. “The whole is more than its parts”, is paramount to success when it comes to the management of a Critical Core Capability.

With the above as reference the researcher set out to establish which criteria should be included in a measurement instrument to measure Business Process Management as a Critical Core Capability in an organization. The following primary research question was formulated and used as vantage point to develop, as the primary objective, said instrument:

What must be implemented, in terms of strategies, governance, enterprise architecture, and process optimization, to ensure that organization culture, people’s behaviour and the work environment will be conducive to successfully establish and maintain Business Process Management as a Critical Core Capability of an organization?

Based on a proper research process and methodology the researcher utilized the following methods to develop the Test Instrument:

  • A comprehensive literature study;
  • Discussions with and inputs from experts;
  • Questionnaires; and
  • Statistical analysis.

An Assessment Tool for Measuring Business Process Management as a Core Capability in an organization comprising ninety items clustered in six criteria in a five factor scale was developed and tested in two organizations as well as in three different business units in the one organization.

The final Descriptive Statistics showed that the overall reliability of the items per criterion was highly acceptable with Cronbach Alpha Coefficients of 0.7315, 0.9216, 0.8224, 0.7650, 0.8248, and 0.7722 respectively, (higher than the acceptable level of 0.70).

The final analysis therefore concluded that the assessment tool, the Business Process Management Competency Assessment Model (BPMCAM), is a reliable tool that can distinguish in terms of Business Process Management as a Critical Core Capability the level of an organization’s readiness to implement and/or to sustain the Business Process Management functionality as a Critical Core Capability.

© University of Pretoria 2008

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