How is process management applied in service organizations? Do service providers apply process management practices differently to manufacturers? Does firm size play a role? The brand new paper “Process Management Practices: Organizational (Dis-)Similarities” by D. Weitlaner and M. Kohlbacher, published in the The Service Industries Journal a few days ago, addresses these questions. The study empirically explores the adoption of BPM practices contingent upon different industry affiliations and firm sizes. The summarized findings are as follows:
Process management in service organizations vs. manufacturing companies:
The findings indicate that manufacturers are more process-oriented than service providers. In particular, manufacturing companies are more likely to apply continuous process improvement methods, to have a stronger management commitment toward process orientation, to have process owners on site, and to perform process performance measurement. In particular, the greatest difference between service providers and manufacturers is found in the process performance measurement practice. No significant difference is found in the context of process-supportive corporate culture as well as process documentation.
Process management in small vs. large organizations:
Large companies are more process-oriented than small ones. More specifically, they are more likely to apply continuous process improvement methods, to have a stronger management commitment toward the process view, to have implemented the process owner role, to measure process performance, and to exhibit a higher level of process documentation. However, process-supportive corporate culture seems to be independent from firm size.
This article is a brief summary of the paper “The Effects of Process Orientation on Customer Satisfaction, Product Quality and Time-Based Performance” by Kohlbacher M., presented at the 29th Annual International Conference of the Strategic Management Society in Washington D.C., October 2009 (http://dc.strategicmanagement.net). The work focuses on the question whether there is a positive relationship between process orientation and customer satisfaction, product quality, time to market, delivery time and delivery reliability. The paper also investigates whether these relationships depend on firm size or on manufacturing process type (batch/line vs. project/jobbing producers). The study uses a sample of more than 120 Austrian manufacturing companies. The findings indicate that process orientation has a significant positive effect on customer satisfaction, product quality, time to market, delivery time and delivery reliability. Another finding is that firm size does not moderate these relationships. Therefore, process orientation should not be branded as an organizational approach only for large firms as the positive relationship between process orientation and firm performance also holds for medium-sized firms. Neither does the manufacturing process type moderate these relationships, i.e. process orientation leads to better performance not only for batch/line producers, but also for project/jobbing manufacturers. The paper is available here.
This article is a brief summary of the paper “Process Orientation of Manufacturing Companies” by Kohlbacher M., published in Proceedings of the GBDI Tenth International Conference, Las Vegas, October 2008.
In this paper a model for measuring a firm’s degree of process orientation is introduced. The model measures process orientation by means of ten dimensions (e.g. design and documentation of business processes, process owner, process performance measurement, etc.) and is used for measuring the degree of process orientation of 105 randomly selected Austrian manufacturing firms. With the empirical data collected, it is discussed whether there is a relationship between process orientation, firm size and manufacturing process type (i.e. project, jobbing, batch, and line manufacturing process type).
The paper concludes that the application of business process management is neither a question of firm size nor of manufacturing process type. Furthermore, the paper finds interesting correlations, such as the significant correlation between the process owner role and the application of process performance measurement. This correlation states that organizations with a stronger emphasis on the process owner role also make greater use of process performance measurement. There is also a strong correlation between process performance measurement and the application of process-oriented HR-systems, which means that firms making greater use of process performance measurement also place greater emphasis on process oriented HR systems (such as incentive systems which emphasize the process’ needs).