Business process re-engineering in local government: Does one size fit all?
AbstractOrganisational Change is firmly on Liverpool City Councils agenda, however managing change to achieve successful outcomes and at the same time maintain buy in from the workforce, often seems like to much to ask. Change will mean different routines, different processes, and quite often different surroundings; therefore opposition can often be fierce from those who have embedded themselves in a silo mentality, and refuse to look beyond their normal daily duties. Many fail to recognise that change is inevitable. By ensuring Liverpool City Council provides quality cost effective services, the executive management team is providing customers with services they want, and workers with long term employment prospects. With this in mind, the executive management team has chosen Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) to implement organisational change. Critics, however argue that BPR has served its purpose and LCC is now in danger of pursuing a course of action without proof of its success across the public spectrum, or an explanation as to the rationale behind the strategic decision made by the Executive Management team? Change can be introduced using various techniques. Investing all available resources into BPR as a vehicle for bringing about change, may prove costly if the skills and abilities of staff are lost during the process and the desired outcomes are not achieved. BPR like TQM or Benchmarking, is accepted as an effective tool for managing change, however there is very little research carried out to support the view that it is effective in all areas of public services. If LCC adopt a one size fits all approach, it may be in danger of becoming entrapped pursuing a process that many believe has served its purpose. There has been extensive research carried out as to the value of BPR as a change management tool, but little in service areas that cannot repetitively follow a process approach. The purpose of this report is to critically evaluate BPR s value in service areas that historically provide services to the most vulnerable members of our community, and asks whether LCC is in danger of running down high quality services, in pursuit of its vision to become a City with services rated quantitatively, as excellent. The methodological approach to the research was focused on a select group of people who had recently undergone change, experiencing BPR both in its use and implementation, and are therefore in the best position to offer personal perspectives on its strategic and operational use. The main methods used include a basic yes / no questionnaire for quantitative feedback and semi structured interviews to capture perspective on its qualitative value. The semi structured interviews proved most valuable in that much of the information, while not being tangible in quantitative terms, was excellent for offering personal insight into what works and why. The data gathered can be found in chapter 4 and is split into ten data display tables. None of the details of the interviews have been omitted, as all participants agreed to allow all the information to be used in the final report. Both methods proved useful in that they enriched the research with valuable insight into people’s perspectives, and offered a holistic view on BPR as a change management tool. Further, a lot of useful information was gained which can be used to improve the process during future change. Given the limitations of this study it is recommended that any conclusions are put in perspective before changes to any current processes are made. Further research would be necessary to underpin the findings in this study, albeit this piece of work may serve to identify if it is indeed necessary to explore the topic in greater detail. The findings in Chapter 4 provide a brief yet interesting insight into the outcomes of the research and can be directly linked to the research question. In the main most of the participants in the research agree that there are three key themes to emerge. They are: • Lack of Consultation • Poor Communication • Poor Information Management These three themes are further discussed in the conclusions in Chapter 5 and the recommendations in Chapter 6.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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