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Business Process Re-Engineering: Roadblocks, Myths and Corporate Practices

Posted: 27 Sep 2013  

Dr.Renu V. V.


Date Written: September 24, 2013


Faced with a rapidly changing business environment, organizations are under pressure to effect dramatic performance improvements. Only businesses that are able to adjust their mass production and generalized marketing approaches to more dynamically serve clear market niches will survive in the future. Producing for a known customer and satisfying him as much as possible are the goals of each progressive organization. The best way to achieve such a goal is business process reengineering. The aim of reengineering is to facilitate the match between market opportunities and corporate capabilities, and in doing so, reengineering represents a radical shift away from Taylor’s traditional task-based thinking to process-based thinking. Business process reengineering involves changes in structures and in processes within the business environment. Many approaches, methods, and techniques have since appeared and constitute the foundations of BPR as it is presently known. Davenport notes six areas which influenced the emergence of BPR namely, the total quality approach, industrial engineering, the systems approach, the socio-technical approach, the diffusion of innovations, and the use of information systems for competitive advantage. The success of business reengineering projects is largely dependent on the knowledgeable management of business reengineering project risk factors. All barriers to business reengineering implementation success are the result of underlying root causes. Sometimes these root causes are not self-evident. Therefore it seems necessary to study the areas for potential root causes of barriers to business reengineering implementation success. An unclear definition of just what is BPR; unrealistic expectations; inadequate resources; taking too long; lack of sponsorship; wrong scope too narrow or too wide; too great or too little reliance on new information technology, and lack of an effective methodology are the common mistakes of BPR. Besides the common barriers to effective implementation of BPR, as time passes, some myths concerning the BPR concept also represent obstacles in front of BPR projects. BPR, if implemented properly, can give huge returns. BPR has helped giants like Procter and Gamble and General Motors Corporation succeed after financial drawbacks due to competition. It has helped the American Airlines somewhat get back on track from the bad debt that is currently haunting their business practice.

The paper seeks to examine the different approaches, barriers and myths of business process reengineering. Also, it focuses on the practices which have been adopted by Corporates across the sectors in the country during these difficult times.

Suggested Citation

V., Dr.Renu V., Business Process Re-Engineering: Roadblocks, Myths and Corporate Practices (September 24, 2013). Available at SSRN:

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