Business process re-engineering in UK universities
The thesis starts by examining the environment surrounding UK universities and concludes that external pressures are forcing universities to change. Internal pressures, largely resulting from rapid growth and lack of business systems are also adding to the argument for change. Having concluded that UK universities do indeed need to become more: customer focused; flexible; and efficient - the thesis then puts forward the hypotheses that: • Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) may provide UK universities with a methodology for change; but that the contextual differences between UK universities and business enterprises are so great that existing BPR methodologies couldn't be easily adopted by universities in the UK; • yet, existing methodologies may be used as a basis for creating a methodology designed specifically for UK universities. On reviewing existing BPR methodologies in light of the contextual differences between UK universities and business enterprises, it was concluded that existing methodologies were indeed inappropriate for the university context. The remainder of the thesis documents work carried out in order to develop a more appropriate methodology for the UK university sector. Firstly the results of a quantitative survey aimed at establishing how many UK universities have tried to use Business Process Re-engineering are reported. Secondly the results of a more in-depth, qualitative, investigation are documented. The qualitative research took the form of in-depth interviews with personnel involved in "BPR" exercises in ten UK universities. The drivers for change, the methodologies employed, the problems and the success factors are documented in this thesis. Having analysed the results of this research, a methodology for Business Process Re-engineering in UK universities is developed and documented. Based on feedback received from academics, practitioners and consultants alike, the thesis concludes that the methodology represents a contribution to current knowledge.