AuthorWalsh, Kenneth Ronald, 1966-
KeywordsBusiness Administration, Management.
AdvisorNunamaker, Jay F.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAs organizations face stiff competition and changing environments their structure and systems can become less effective to a point at which they require radical change. It is becoming clear that change is often inevitable. However, radical change is difficult. The popular term "reengineering" is used to describe a process by which organizations undergo the challenging radical process change that is critical to remaining competitive. Although the processes of reengineering appears to have more potential than other change methods that merely tweak a poor system or apply outdated principles, it can often fail. A critical step in the reengineering process is the design of the "to-be" model, however no research has been done on how this should be achieved. It appears that improving this step can have a dramatic impact on the success of the reengineering effort as a whole. This study developed a method for creating "to-be" models and tested it with an organization undergoing reengineering. The method used the latest computer support including both group support systems and animated simulation. The design of the "to-be" models was framed as a group problem solving process and therefore the focus theory of group productivity was used to guide the design of the process, including selection of computer support tools. Because so little is known about the process of creating "to-be" models, this study used an exploratory action science approach. What is known about organizational change is that it takes place in a politically charged arena where individuals have strong vested interests in its outcomes. This environment is difficult to create in the laboratory and therefore the research was conducted using a real organization undergoing reengineering. Results suggest that the combined use of collaborative technology and process animation gives organization members a better understanding of current processes and problems associated with them and helps to generate significant ideas for process improvement. Because groups viewing a process animation have sometimes been observed to focus on incremental improvement at the expense of radical change, special attention must be given to facilitation methods and idea generation techniques that are designed to elicit radical change ideas.
Degree ProgramGraduate College