Business process reengineering reappraised: the politics and technology of forgetting

Grint, Keith, Case, Peter, and Willcocks, Leslie (1996) Business process reengineering reappraised: the politics and technology of forgetting. In: Orlikowski, Wanda J., Walsham, Geoff, Jones, Matthew R., and DeGross, Janice I., (eds.) Information Technology and Changes in Organizational Work. Chapman and Hall, London, pp. 39-61.

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In this paper, we reappraise the phenomenon of business process reengineering through our own recent case study and survey findings, and through developing an interpretivist account of its appeal and content. A preliminary assessment questions what is actually being achieved under the label of BPR and the efficacy of the methodologies and tools available. We then argue that its claims to radicalism and novelty are exaggerated, provide an externalist account for part of its appeal, together with locating BPR as a fonn of utopian thought applied to work organizations. We then deepen the analysis by suggesting how its essentially political origins, aims and characteristics link inextricably with the high importance management commentators give to the role of information technology as a catalyst and consolidator of radical change in how work is organized and performed. A key concept throughout is that of deracination- the rooting out of the past. In the view that we develop, a significant impetus within BPR is toward a technology-supported deracination that requires a collective forgetting.

Item ID: 26871
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-412-64010-0
Keywords: business process reengineering; politics of technology; organizational memory
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Proceedings of the IFIP WG8.2 working conference on information technology and changes in organizational work, 7-9 December 1995, Cambridge

Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2013 02:42
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950402 Business Ethics @ 100%
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