Radical process innovation using information technology : The theory, the practice and the future of reengineering

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-269
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Information Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1995


Traditional attempts to improve business performance have focused on increasing the efficiency of current workflow systems and automating existing processes by applying information technology (IT). Recently, a more radical approach, business process redesign (BPR), or reengineering, has become popular. This article puts BPR into perspective, by considering its theoretical foundations and empirical evolution. Reengineering is classified as a radical approach to organizational change, and shown to complement incremental improvement programs, such as total quality management (TQM). Although the leadership of general managers is critical to BPR success, the enabling role of IT also empowers information systems managers and system analysts. The relevant case study literature is critically reviewed while a BPR initiative in a major Hong Kong bank is examined in detail. A strategic management framework for large-scale process innovation is proposed while a prognosis based on emerging organizational and environmental trends is offered. © 1995.