The Battle for the Soul of Management Denmark-The Shaping of the Danish Versions of Business Process Reengineering

Christian Koch, Peter Vogelius

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Managerial theory distilled into tidy concepts is continually and almost ritually launched into the international and national management audiences. The paper discuss the contemporary exemplar of such management concepts: Business Process Reengineering (BPR). By taking the management fads serious it might be possible to find new ways of handling the development of labour. Although not as powerful as their rhetoric, the concepts do have impact on the development of the organisation and labour. Thus the fads and the concepts is societally facilitating new visions and theories on the development of enterprises. The moulding encompasses the role of management, consultants and possible participation of employees in the change.The contribution focus on exemplars of BPR promoted by actors or coalitions of actors. Taking the scene of Denmark as unit of analysis. The analysis show significant differences even at central elements between Danish BPR-promoters. They occurred on the issues of employment effects, change management, employee participation, the role of IT, and radical change. On the other hand convergence occurred on the cross functional process view and the silencing of the work-visions formulated by Champy & hammer. the differences seldom leads to open controversy, though the issue of the employment effect did expose different opinions in the professional press. most of the "battle" is however silently fought between managers and with consultants.the emphasis on differences between the bpr-variants shows that it is worthwhile studying the societal shaping process of a management concept. some actors do participate in construing a worldwide model of the enterprise and the related needed enterprise transformation, but others relate their interpretation of the concepts, to perceived enterprise reality in danish industrial sectors. the co-existence of convergence and differences between bpr-concepts can furthermore be interpreted as a two sided balance; On the one hand a common societal diffusion process, where the consultants have a joint interest in a spread of knowledge about, and attention to the concept. And on the other hand the need for the consultants to differentiate their product (the concept) from others available on the market.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication"Management at a Crossroads" Conference Proceedings, volume 3 Economic and Technological Developments and Employment
    Place of PublicationGroningen
    PublisherFaculty of Management and Organization, Groningen University
    Publication date1997
    Publication statusPublished - 1997
    EventManagement at a crossroads - University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
    Duration: 10 Sept 199712 Sept 1997


    ConferenceManagement at a crossroads
    LocationUniversity of Groningen

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