A critical approach to business process modelling in small to medium sized enterprizes
The research issue for this thesis was founded within the RAMESES project, but is
specifically concerned with the necessity for SMEs to undertake the activity of business
process modelling. The need to understand the `as is' position of an organisation is
fundamental to the development, change or implementation of any information or
communication technologies (ICT). The primary research question was `are SMEs able to
model business processes in such a way that will enable the effective analysis of the
organisation in order to enable information systems development change or
The objective of the research was to develop a method by which this business process
modelling activity could be supported in a fashion which was accessible and effective
within the target environment. This thesis expounds the benefits of using a critical
approach utilizing a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods within
the bounds of a multi-disciplinary research team to enable effective exploration and
investigation. The concept of the research life-cycle has developed the notion of
appropriateness in method and approach: this is discussed against the values of the
critical and realist paradigms.
The issues reported in this thesis have been identified as a result of detailed case study
analysis of six small organisations in the North-east of England.
The conclusions are presented in three sections firstly the conclusions relating to the
SME and the appropriateness of the BAM technique developed within the RAMESES
project. Secondly conclusions are given in regard to the research methodology and
reflections given as to the efficacy of the process. Thirdly reflections and conclusions are
presented that relate to the work in relation to its overall critical aims and finally makes
suggestions as to how future work could be improved.