perceived productivity gain and perceived loss of expertise). IT infrastructure role in BPR As supported by Klempa (1995) and Marchand and Stanford (1995), this study shows that a socio-technical perspective is the most suitable approach to derive a successful BPR. It also shows that taking a technical perspective to BPR implementation is highly associated with failure. However, BPR success is associated with the level of using supporting technologies. As supported by Grover et al . (1995), this study shows that document management, databases, and communication networks are the most widely implemented technologies to enable BPR today, and thus, a continuous development of them is in order. BPR success and failure Contrary to the 70 percent failure rate claimed by Hammer and Champy’s (1993), and the results of the CSC Index (1994) survey, this study shows that the success rate of BPR is higher (55.46 percent). This is supported by the study of Sockalingam and Doswell (1996), which shows that in Scotland only 6 percent of the BPR projects result in failure, and in the USA it is 78 percent. However, variation between studies in this respect refers to the subjectivity in measuring BPR success and the lack of a common understanding of BPR measures and their application levels. Sockalingam and Doswell (1996, p. 43) state that : .. . it would be dangerous to conclude that BPR is a global success phenomenon. BPR performance evaluation is inherently subjective, and goals and targets set vary between organizations. This, in turn, suggests that more research is still needed in the area of BPR measurement, and that a generic measurement framework might be worth developing to suit various levels of BPR application in terms of business position and level of competition, strategic targets, cultural and organisational beliefs and values, and levels of change required. Conclusions and implications for future research The advent of BPR remains the subject of great interest and yet, of great controversy. Although, the term BPR might have lost favour, most
BPMJ 7,5 452 organisations knowingly or not are involved in BPR. It is the pressure of survival and the need to prevent complacency that prompt BPR. Further motivation comes from the desire to close competitive gaps and achieving superior performance standards, which prompt many organisations to embark on huge BPR projects. In doing so, ``wiping out’’ the past and looking forward to the new thinking, the new ways and the more enlightened approach. Indeed, many of the reported failures are thought to be due to the primary focus of BPR on ``technical aspects’’ and that contemporary strategic thinking takes a competence view of an organisation. The findings presented in this paper make a distinctive contribution to the normative literature by pointing to important elements associated with the BPR implementation process, which adopts a holistic approach: Establishing a sound case for change through a comprehensive realisation of internal and external threats and opportunities, benchmarking internal and external practices, identifying the business visions in the targeted
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