Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 12 Number 1 1995 pp. 81-107

Business Process Redesign: Tactics for Managing Radical Change

Stoddard, Donna B and Jarvenpaa, Sirkka L

ABSTRACT: By definition, business process redesign (BPR) represents radical change in today's bureaucratic functionally structured and managed organizations. The radical change theorists predict that to accomplish radical change requires the use of revolutionary change tactics. We propose that as the "radicalness" of the planned change increases, more revolutionary change tactics are used. We analyze the change tactics of three organizations' BPR initiatives to understand whether and how revolutionary tactics were used. The initiatives evinced a varied amount of revolutionary tactics depending on the scope and depth of planned change. The use of revolutionary tactics also varied by the phase of the initiatives. The frequency of revolutionary tactics was highest in the early phases of the initiatives and decreased as they approached implementation. We explore the reasons for reduced deployment of revolutionary tactics. We conclude by implications to BPR practice and research.

Key words and phrases: business process redesign, case study, change management, evolutionary tactics, implementation phases, radical change, revolutionary tactics