Digital Transformation and the New Logics of Business Process Management

Abayomi Baiyere*, Hannu Salmela, Tommi Tapanainen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Business process management (BPM) research emphasises three important logics–modelling (process), infrastructural alignment (infrastructure) and procedural actor (agency) logics. These logics capture the dominant ways of thinking in BPM, reflected in its assumptions, practices and values. While the three logics have proven useful in prior contexts, we argue that the applicability of these underlying assumptions in theorising BPM needs to be re-examined in the context of digital transformation. Based on an ethnographic study of BPM in a company undergoing digital transformation, we uncover tensions related to applying these prior logics that point to the need to update the underlying assumptions. Consequently, we propose new logics that we conceptualise as light touch processes (process), infrastructural flexibility (infrastructure) and mindful actors (agency). Our observations contribute to a rethinking of the dominant BPM logics by unpacking their dynamics in the context of digital transformation. Our study further highlight salient differences between digital transformation and IT-enabled organisational transformation contexts. We conclude by proposing new managerial approaches for BPM in digital transformation contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)238-259
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online: 1 March 2020


  • Business Process Management
  • Digital Transformation
  • Infrastructural flexibility
  • IT-enabled organisational transformation
  • Jan Mendling, Brian T. Pentland and Jan Recker
  • Light touch process
  • Logics
  • Mindfulness
  • Organisational change

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