In Search of Well Established Models and Definitions for Process Management

Klara Palmberg
Division of Quality and Environmental Management, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden

Ladda ner artikelhttp://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=033;article=035

Ingår i: 11th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organizational Development Attaining Sustainability From Organizational Excellence to SustainAble Excellence; 20-22 August; 2008 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 33:35, s. 407-419

Visa mer +

Publicerad: 2008-12-09


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Purpose: Process management has been around for a long time; but unlike that of many other management trends; the interest in process management has remained high. There is an ongoing discussion among both practitioners and scholars about how to best manage the value creating flows of activities that run through all organizations.

Numerous process definitions have been proposed; most of them fairly similar. Further; there are well established tools; such as process mapping and measurement; to be applied on individual processes. However; when it comes to managing processes on a strategic system level; process management; the notions and definitions used varies widely. A starting point for this paper is the idea that the lack of well established conceptual models of process management has a role in the difficulties facing organizations when trying to control their processes on a strategic level. A question is whether there really are some existing widespread and common models and definitions for process management in the literature?

Methodology: A structured literature review is used to identify contemporary models and definitions for process management.

Findings: There are several descriptions and definitions of process management presented in the literature; but none that seems to be really widespread and well established. There are similar components in the definitions of the concept of process the included literature which can be condensed into a net process definition.

The result and analysis of the definitions of process management in the included literature shows two different movements; (A) process management for single process improvement and (B) process management for system management.

The varying purposes of working with process management demonstrate a diverse need for both movements. Still; the focus of a majority of the identified tools and approaches for process management is to contribute to the more mechanistic movement (A) of systematically improving single processes.

There is a strong need for process management practitioners and researcher to develop and formulate approaches and tools that have the potential to contribute to process management not only on a single process level but on a strategic system level in the organization.

Value of paper: The paper provides a literature review and an aggregated description of existing models for process management. It also discusses the implications of the findings on process management in organizations and suggests further research.


Process management; models; definitions; literature review


Armistead; C.; & Machin; S. (1997). Implications of business process management for operations management. Iternational Journal of Operations & Productions Management ; 17 (9); 886-898.

Armistead; C.; Pritchard; J.-P.; & Machin; S. (1999). Strategic business process management for organisational effectiveness. Long Range Planning ; 32 (1); 96-106.

Bawden; R.; & Zuber-Skerritt; O. (2002). The concept of process management. The Learning organization ; 9 (3); 132-138.

Belmiro; T.; Gardiner; P.; Simmons; J.; & Rentes; A. (2000). Are BPR practitioners really adressing business processes? International Journal of Operations & Production Management ; 20 (10); 1183-202.

Biazzo; S. (2002). Process mapping techniques and organisational analysis: Lessons from sociotechnical system theory. Business Process Management Journal ; 8 (1); 42-52.

Biazzo; S.; & Bernardi; G. (2003). Process management practises and quality systems standards: Risks and opportunities of the ISO 9001 certification. Business Process Management Journal ; 9 (2); 149-169.

Chapman; J. A. (2001). The work of managers in new organisational contexts. The Journal of Management Development ; 20 (1); 55-68.

Davenport; T. (1993). Process Innovation. Boston; MA: Harvard Business Press.

Davenport; T.; & Short; J. (1990). The new industrial engineering; information technology and business process redesign. Sloan Management Review ; 31 (4); 11-27.

DeToro; I.; & McCabe; T. (1997). How to Stay Flexible and Elude Fads. Quality Progress ; 30 (3); 55-60.

EFQM. (2003). EFQM Excellence model. Brussels: European Foundation for Quality Management.

Elzinga; D.; Horak; T.; Chung-Lee; L.; & Bruner; C. (1995). Business process management: survey and methodology. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management ; 24 (2); 119-28.

Gardner; R. (2001). Resolving the process paradox. Quality progress ; 34 (3); 51-9.

Garvin; D. (1995; September-October). Leveraging processes for strategic advantage. Harvard Business Review ; 77-90.

Hammer; M.; & Champy; J. (1993). Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifest for Business Revolution. New York; NY: HarperCollins Publisher.

Harrington; H. (1991). Business Process Improvement - The Breakthrough Strategy for Total Quality; Productivity; and Competitiveness. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Harrington; H. (1995). Total Improvement Management - The Next Generation in Performance Improvement. New York; NY: McGraw-Hill.

Hellström; A. (2006). Conceptions of Process Management - An Anlysis of the Discourse in the Management Literature. Paper presented at the 9th International QMOD Conference. Liverpool UK.

Hellström; A.; & Eriksson; H. (2007). Among Fumblers; Talkers; Mappers; and Organizers - Four applications of process orientation. In A.

ellström; On the Diffusion and Adoption of Management Ideas: Findings from six empirical studies in the quality field. Göteborg; Sweden: Chalmers University of Technology.

Isaksson; R. (2006). Total quality management for sustainable development: Process based system models. Business Process Management Journal ; 12 (5); 632-645.

Jacobson; I. (1995). The Object Advantage. Addison-Wesley.

Jones; C. (1994). Improving your key business processes. The TQM Magazine ; 6 (2); 25-9.

Lee; R.; & Dale; B. (1998). Business process management: a review and evaluation. Business Process Re-engineering & Management Journal ; 4 (3); 214-25.

Lillrank; P.; & Liukko; M. (2004). Standard; routine and non-routine processes in health care. International Journal of Healthcare Quality Assurance ; 17 (1); 39-46.

Lindsay; A.; Downs; D.; & Lunn; K. (2003). Business processes - attempts to find a definition. Information & Software Technology ; 45 (15); 1015-9.

Ljungberg; A. (2002). Process measurement. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management ; 32 (4); 254-287.

Llewellyn; N.; & Armistead; C. (2000). Business process management: Exploring social capital within processes. International Journal of Service Industry Management ; 11 (3); 225-243.

Lock Lee; L. (2005). Balancing business process with business practice for organizational advantage. Journal of Knowledge Management ; 9 (1); 29-41.

Lockamy III; A.; & McCormack; K. (2004). The development of a supply chain management process maturity model using the concepts of business process orientation. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal ; 9 (4); 272-278.

McAdam; R.; & McCormack; D. (2001). Integrating business processes for global alignment and supply chain management. Business Process Management ; 7 (2); 113-130.

McKay; A.; & Radnor; Z. (1998). A characterization of a business process. International Journal of Management > Production Management ; 18 (910); 924-36.

Melan; E. (1992). Process Management. Methods for Improving Products and Service. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Melan; E. (1989). Process Management: A Unifying Framework for improvement. National Productivity Review ; 8 (4); 395-406.

Nilsson; G. (2003). Processorientering och styrning: regler; mål eller värderingar? [Process Orientation and Management Control]. Stockholm: Handelshögskolan i Stockholm.

Palmberg; K. (2008). In search of well established models for process managment; Research report 2008:1. Division of Quality and Environmental Management; Luleå University of Technology.

Pritchard; J.; & Armistead; C. (1999). Business process management: lessons from European business. Business Process Management Journal ; 5 (1); 10-32.

Rentzhog; O. (1996). Core Process Management. Department of Menichal Engineering; Division of Quality and Technology. Linköping: Linköping University.

Sandhu; M.; & Gunasekaran; A. (2004). Business process development in project-based industry. Business Process Management ; 10 (6); 673-690.

Sinclair; D.; & Zairi; M. (1995). Effective process management through performance measurement. Part III: an integrated model of total quality-based performance measurement. Business Process Re-engineering & Management Journal ; 1 (3); 50-65.

Talwar; R. (1993). Business re-engineering - a strategy driven approach. Long Range Planning ; 26 (6); 22-40.

Walsh; P. (1995). Overcoming chronic TQM fatigue. The TQM Magazine ; 7 (5); 58-64.

Zairi; M. (1997). Business process management: a boundaryless approach to modern competitivness. Business Process Re-engineering & Management Journal ; 3 (1); 64-80.

Citeringar i Crossref