Many social-organisational aspects of the new phenomenon ‘Workflow management systems’ (WFMSs) are still unknown. These include: (1)Why do companies choose to implement WFMSs; (2) how does the implementation of the systems occur; (3) can the implementation and use of these systems be improved to achieve the goals of management? WFMSs can be defined as systems that automate the co-ordination and control of the workflow and support (one or more of) the following functionalities: routing of work; monitoring and control; notification; actor assignment and authorisation; and procedure management. The implementation of WFMSs in the preliminary research phase of this research project in many cases was combined with the introduction of semi-autonomous teams. These teams have access to relevant information, possess relevant competence and other resources, and have the authority to independently make some decisions with regards to the work process. It is expected that the effects of these two innovations contradict each other, specifically the conflict between the underlying principles of standardisation versus self-regulation. Two fundamental strains with organising a work system are distinguished in the literature. First of all there is the need for commitment of the workers and the need to control the behaviour of these workers. Secondly, there is the need for differentiation which results in the need of integration. In both fields of tension, the application of WFMSs and of semi-autonomous teams seems to contribute to opposite intentions. When both innovations are implemented in a work system at the same time, there is the question whether their effects will be complementary or contradictory. This research project is an attempt to develop a better understanding of this matter.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|