Empirical Research in Business Process Management - Analysis of an emerging field of research

Constantin Houy; Peter Fettke; Peter Loos
In: Business Process Management Journal (BPMJ), Vol. 16, No. 4, Pages 619-661, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK, 2010.


((Purpose)) The paper aims at providing a survey of the development of empirical research in business process management (BPM). Trends in empirical BPM research and applied methodologies are studied by means of a developed framework in order to identify the status quo and to assess the probable future development of the research field. ((Design/methodology/approach)) In order to analyse the development of the research field a systematic literature review of empirical journal articles in the BPM context is conducted. The retrieved literature is analyzed by means of scientometric methods and a developed reference framework. ((Findings)) The steadily growing number of published articles in empirical BPM research shows an increase in inter-est in the research field. Research interests, applied methodologies, the underlying research paradigm and the level of maturity of empirical BPM research differ depending on regional aspects. BPM gains importance in the industry as well as in the public administration context. ((Research limitations/implications)) The findings are based on a sample of 355 articles and not on an exhaustive amount of available empiri-cal research contributions. Nevertheless significant analyses can be conducted. Future research could apply the developed reference framework for further literature reviews in order to be able to compare the findings and to measure the progress. ((Originality/value)) The presented literature review gives an overview of trends in empirical BPM research. The developed and strictly applied reference framework supports a systematic analysis of contributions and can thus draw a significant picture of the state-of-the-art of the research field. Due to our best knowledge no such survey has currently been undertaken.



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