Abstracts: July 17th, 1998

Willcocks L P, Currie W, Jackson S
Public Administration, (UK), Winter 97 (75/4)
Start page: 617 No of pages: 33

Assesses the applicability of business process re-engineering to the UK public sector and asks if its prescriptions and practices are suitable for radical organizational change in this context. Studies three major information technology projects, one in the health service and two in different parts of the postal service, which used a business process re-engineering approach. Identifies five factors which affect the outcome of organizational change – the pressure to act, locus of support; levers for change; themes, i.e. messages used in the rhetoric of change; and approach. Uses these as a framework to analyse the cases under study, assessing three aspects of the change: the level of risk in a business process re-engineering project; the role of information technology; and the influence of human cultural and political issues on the process. Concludes that it is unrealistic to undertake such widespread change without recognizing the traditions and practices which will influence and inhibit the change and emphasizing the importance of human, cultural and political issues in any change project. Cautions managers against trying to take a unitary, clean sheet approach to organizational change such as that prescribed by business process re-engineering, stressing instead the importance of continuity as a basis for change.

Subject(s): BPR, PUBLIC SECTOR, IMPLEMENTATION, ORGANIZATIONAL POLITICS, EMPLOYEE ATTITUDES, RESISTANCE, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, RISK, CORPORATE CULTURE, ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE, HEALTH CARE, POST OFFICE, UNITED KINGDOM
Database: TMA: Top Management Abstracts
Style: Theoretical with application in practice, Case study
Indicators: Research Implication- ***, Practice Implication- **, Originality- ***, Readability- *, Total Number- ********* Reference: 27AD390

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