On the Design of IT Artifacts and the Emergence of Business Processes as Organizational Routines
Much of the BPM literature views business process design and implementation as a top-down process that is built on strategic alignment and managerial control. This view is inconsistent with the observation that information infrastructures, including a company's business process infrastructure, are at drift, a term that refers to the lack of top-down management control. The paper contributes to resolving this inconsistency by developing a framework that conceptualizes business processes as emergent organizational routines that are represented, enabled, and constrained by IT artifacts. IT artifacts are developed in processes of functional-hierarchical decomposition and social design processes. Organizational routines have ostensive and performative aspects, forming a mutually constitutive duality. A literature review demonstrates that the propositions offered by the framework have been insufficiently considered in the BPM field. The paper concludes with an outlook to applying the framework to theorizing on the emergence of business processes on online social network sites.
Business Process Management; Organizational Routine; Structuration Theory; Emergence; Design; Social Construction of Technology