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Business Process Management (BPM) has developed as a research field centered within the computer and information systems sciences – but also touching other fields as well. Recently, van der Aalst (2013) analyzed the results of some of these research efforts and identified a set of research topics in the form of a series of BPM use cases that primarily emphasize technological and computational challenges and solutions in BPM academia. Ideally, however, BPM should also address managerial and organizational challenges that are not fully reflected in the existing use cases identified by van der Aalst (2013). We propose drawing on work system theory (WST) to expand van der Aalst’s use cases and to identify additional BPM use cases and new research directions. After comparing a WST perspective on basic BPM topics with the BPM perspective expressed in van der Aalst (2013), we present new research topics that extend existing BPM use cases. We also present new research directions that go beyond those use cases. Taken together, the extensions of the existing use cases and the new use cases lead to a more balanced BPM research agenda that blends technical and managerial challenges more fully.


Originally published in the Journal of Information Technology and Technology Applications, 18(1), pp. 47-71, March 2017.

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