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Reengineering BPR: a critical exploration

Athanasiou, Christina Dimitri


Christina Dimitri Athanasiou


Peter J. Murray

Wendy J. Gregory


Purpose and aims of the thesis: This thesis critically reviews the current BPR literature through the perspective of the systemic/holistic management thinking, in such a way as to bring the study of BPR into a new era. Central to this holistic type of thinking are the concepts of Processes, Radicality, IT/IS, Culture and Human Element awareness: these concepts are used to explore core publications in reengineering literature. More specifically the aims of the thesis are to (i) explain why BPR needs redefining, (ii) redefine it as a holistic activity, (iii) provide guidelines to do that and also (iv) show the feasibility of this approach.

Research Method: For the achievement of the above aims, a combination of research methodology strategies and techniquesw as used.T hesei nclude a documentary review approach and a comparative analysis for gathering and disseminating the data. These were complemented by case study material, which is used to assess the plausibility of the suggestions made in this particular thesis.

Findings: While exploring the notion of BPR it was identified that (i) the notion has no universally accepted definition, (ii) largely the definitions and numerous core reengineering readings (Davenport 1993, Johansson et al.1993, etc.) give emphasis to different extreme orientations (e.g., IT oriented, processes oriented) and thereby attract negative criticism (Jones 1996, Case 1999), (iii) there is no code of practice (no formal guidelines) when practising reengineering, and largely (iv) there is a great amount of inconsistency between what the examined BPR authors say they do, and what they actually do in practice (e. g., Hammer and Champy 1993).

Recommendations: Recognising the novel link between a number of major fields of activity (Processes, Radicality, IT/IS, Culture and Human Element), enabled a new holistic definition and a new form of guidelines to emerge, and be operationalised; that is, for this author to present a set of theoretical and practical ways of improving the BPR managerial tool. Such guidance, though, is not intended to be sterile and staid. Indeed, this guidance will itself incorporate critical thinking around the issues involved in an intervention like BPR, by the further enhancement of multi disciplinary discourse about organisational learning and awareness. It is concluded that this set of recommended guidelines could provide a framework for an enriched, holistic and successful BPR initiative.


Athanasiou, C. D. (2000). Reengineering BPR: a critical exploration. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date May 23, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Mar 1, 2000


Thesis (28.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2000 Athanasiou, Christina Dimitri. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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