GIFT Special Issue 2008

Call for Papers

Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management

Special Issue On

BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT: IMPACT ON ORGANIZATIONAL FLEXIBILITY

GUEST EDITORS

Edward A. Stohr and Michael zur Muehlen
Stevens Institute of Technology

OVERVIEW

The need for organizational flexibility in an era of rapid technology changes, increasing competition, and globalization, is apparent. Since processes cut across internal functional boundaries they can serve as a means for breaking down hierarchical barriers. The documentation, improvement and automation of these processes as a result of various competitive and regulatory pressures should lessen the internal rigidity of organizations. Processes also serve as the link between an organization and its business partners. In a similar vein, to the extent that inter-organizational processes are improved, documented and automated, one would expect that the ability of the firm to interact flexibly in its environment should be improved.

Considerable research attention has been devoted to the impact of various process-oriented methodologies and technologies such as six-sigma, workflow automation and ERP systems on organizational flexibility. However, the evidence to date has been mixed. ERP systems, in particular, have been criticized because they seem to require the organization to adapt to the processes encapsulated in the software. Even though these processes may be “best of breed” critics argue that firms can lose the ability to seize competitive opportunities and that, in fact, many processes are becoming commoditized and are no longer sources of competitive advantage. On the other hand, proponents of Business Process Management argue that the new workflow-oriented technologies and process-oriented philosophies can provide the firm with great opportunities to innovate product delivery and service, change fundamentally the value chain, and allow companies to compete in hitherto unheard of ways.

The debate about the impact of process-orientation on the well-being of firms also hinges on one’s definition of organizational flexibility. Flexibility can be thought of as an ability of the firm to quickly and efficiently respond to market changes and to rapidly bring new products and services to the market place. Beyond this definition, a truly flexible firm should proactively change the market through its ability to create new and innovative products and services. Recent studies have shown that process-oriented management techniques such as business process reengineering and six-sigma have been very successful in increasing the efficiency of organizations but have resulted in a culture that encourages incremental, “continuous improvement” innovation rather than fundamental breakthrough innovation that can improve the firm’s competitive position.

The primary goal of the special issue of the Global Journal on Flexible Systems Management is to foster research on this interplay between BPM and organizational flexibility.

TOPICS OF INTEREST

We invite scholars from a broad range of disciplines who are interested in the interplay of Business Process Management and organizational flexibility to submit papers to this special issue of the Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management. Because this is a relatively new area of inquiry, a broad range of research approaches are encouraged including, but not limited to: conceptual models, mathematical analyses, simulation studies, empirical analyses, and case studies. We are interested in submissions that explore the impact of the following areas, among others, on organizational flexibility:
o Process-oriented philosophies and culture
o Organizational structure and processes
o Process governance
o Service-oriented Architectures
o ERP, workflow automation, groupware and other coordination technologies
o Supply chain management practices
o Process-oriented Analytics and Business Activity Monitoring
o Any other relevant topic related to the Theme

DEADLINES & SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Submissions to the special issue are due on JANUARY 31, 2008. All submissions must adhere to the format guidelines for The Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management http://www.giftsociety.org . The full text of the past issues can be seen on EBSCO and ProQuest databases.

Manuscripts should be 4000-5000 words in length. All contributions are subjected to a double-blind review by at least two experts in the field. Manuscripts should be sent as two Word file attachments to Edward A. Stohr (estohr@stevens.edu). The first file should contain the title page giving the name(s) and full address(es) of the author(s), the title of the paper, its word count (maximum 5000 words), 5 keywords, and an abstract of 200 words. The second file should contain the title of the paper, 5 keywords, a 200-word abstract, and the full body of the paper.———————————————
Guest Editors:
Edward A. Stohr
Professor of Information Systems
Howe School of Technology Management
Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ 07030
Phone: 201–216-8915
email: estohr@stevens.edu

Michael zur Muehlen
Assistant Professor of Information Systems
Howe School of Technology Management
Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ 07030
Phone: 201–216-8293
email: mzurmuehlen@stevens.edu