Tonia de Bruin

Tonia de Bruin was awarded the 2010 PhD Medal.

Business Process Management: Theory on Progression and Maturity.

Business Process Management (BPM) is a topic that continues to grow in significance as organisations seek to gain and sustain competitive advantage in an increasingly global environment. Despite anecdotal evidence of organisations improving performance by pursuing a BPM approach, there is little theory that explains and substantiates this relationship. This study provides the first theory on the progression and maturity of BPM Initiatives within organisations and provides a vital starting block upon which future research in this area can build.

The Researcher starts by clearly defining three key terms (BPM Initiative, BPM Progression and BPM Maturity), showing the relationship between these three concepts and proposing their relationship with Organisational Performance. The Researcher then combines extant literature and use of the Delphi Technique and the case study method to explore the progression and measurement of the BPM Initiatives within organisations. The study builds upon the principles of general theories including the Punctuated Equilibrium Model and Dynamic Capabilities to present theory on BPM Progression and BPM Maturity.

Using the BPM Capability Framework developed through an international Delphi study series, the Researcher shows how the specific organisational context influences which capability areas an organisation chooses to progress. By comparing five separate organisations over an extended time the Researcher is able to show that, despite this disparity, there is some evidence of consistency with regard to the capability areas progressed. This suggests that subsequent identification of progression paths may be possible. The study also shows that the approach and scope taken to BPM within each organisation is a likely predictor of such paths. These outcomes result in the proposal of a formative model for measuring BPM Maturity.

Tonia de Bruin’s Award Winning Thesis