Introduction

Introduction

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7236-9.ch001
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Abstract

The goal of this chapter is to give an overview of the work at hand: it introduces Business Process Standardization (BPS), explains the motivation of the research topic, and formulates research questions to be answered. Then, it explains the methodology used, provides a definition of key terms, and gives an overview of the structure of the book. Finally, it summarizes the main findings of the book.
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BP to save £600m in global process standardization. BP Retail expects to save up to £600m over the next few years by standardizing business processes and IT systems at all of its petrol stations around the world. (Hadfield, 2007b)

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1.2 Motivation Of The Research Topic

Standardizing processes across all parts of an enterprise presents a single face to customers and suppliers, yields profound economies in support services such as training and IT systems, allows the redeployment of people from one business unit to another, and yields a host of other benefits. These payoffs must be balanced against the intrinsically different needs of different units and their customers, but our bias should be in favour of standardization. (Hammer, 2010, p. 11)

Business process standards have gained significantly in importance over the course of the last years; on the one hand, this is reflected in multiple successful business process standardization programs conducted in large multinational organizations. On the other hand, an increasing number of scientific publications shows increasing interest in BPS also in the scientific community.

In the next two sub-sections we will elaborate upon the relevance of the research topic BPS as well as lay out still existing shortcomings of available BPS research.

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