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Title: Designing emergent business process: the case of the foreign procurement process of Kuwait ministry of defence
Authors: Al-Sabah, Shamayel Ahmad Khaled
Advisors: Patel, N
Khan, T
Keywords: Non-standardizable processes;Unpredictable events;Deferred model of reality;Complex adaptive systems;Emergence
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Business processes can be divided into standardisable and non-standardisable processes. Such processes are characterised by their activities, events, states and time-points. The conditions in which process activities, events, states and time-points occur determines how they are observed, recorded and acted upon. Under predictable and stable conditions an observer can record them by predetermining them and this can be done using existing process design approaches and methodologies. Such processes are termed standardisable processes; for example a process for manufacturing cars. However, under unpredictable and unstable conditions an observer cannot record them by predetermining all the possible events, because uncertainty leads to unpredictable events occurring. Such processes are termed non-standardisable processes and in this thesis as emergent processes; for example special engineering projects like building the Channel Tunnel. Therefore, a new approach is required for designing non-standardisable processes. Process events are significant because the observer notices and records them. Significantly, the observer of events also has to act on them. Whether process events occur in predictable and stable conditions or unpredictable and unstable conditions, makes a difference to how an observer notices, records and acts on them. This is highly significant for this thesis argument, because as non-standardisable process events can be unexpected and unpredictable or emergent a new approach is required to design them. This thesis advances knowledge of designing non-standardisable processes by conceptualising them as emergent business processes (EBP) and contributing a new approach for designing them using action research and the deferred design approach as a process design methodology. Uncertain and unpredictable conditions is characterised here as emergence. The observer cannot predetermine all the possible process events for processes that operate in emergent conditions and cannot determine how to act upon unpredictable process events, because some events will be predictable and others unpredictable. The pragmatist research methodology was used to research to identify and resolve the problem with EBP in the Foreign Procurement Division (FPD) of the Kuwait Ministry of Defence. It was also used an approach for designing EBP. The research contributes the new understanding of non-standardisable processes as emergent business processes. This is a significant contribution because it is conceptualisation that is not found in the literature. This conceptualisation recognises the need to find new approaches for designing and implementing EBP. Therefore, the research also contributes a new approach for designing EBP using the action research methodology as a process design methodology.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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