The Expansion Of Higher Educational Services Commerce Essay


Expansion of higher education has led to a need for improved efficiency in administrative services, along with a greater range and flexibility in degree programmes than currently exists: new organisational structures are required (Ford et al., 1996). The ultimate purpose of reengineering universities is to improve productivity and customer satisfaction. To properly reengineer the processes, it is important first to understand whether a change is really needed. The need for change in today's environment is unquestionable because virtually all organizations operate in dynamic environment when sticking to the already designed process may mean lagging behind the demand of the day. It is a must for one organization to keep a track in the change process to secure competitive advantage. Penrod and Dolence(1992) view reengineering as a suitable means for ensuring higher educations instructions adapt to the changing demands being placed upon them.

The long run goal of implementing BPR is to achieve efficiency, effectiveness and economy. Through employing the right strategy, policy, and structure in general it is possible to achieve efficiency. Delivering customer satisfaction better than competitors do will secure competitive advantage. It might be unusual for our country, Ethiopia, to redesign the process but the practice of revising the past system has been practiced since the past years as a form of governmental reforms. What is new in the BPR which doesn't exist in any other systems of process revising is that implementing BPR will lead to a paradigm shift from the existing process which requires starting form the scratch.

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Some scholars argue against this argument in a sense that totally eliminating the existing system will lead to huge costs most of which could have been saved if improving the existing system would be used. While scholars for BPR strongly support the clean sheet idea because the redesigning process should not be limited by the existing process and the redesign should be done by considering only the best process.

According to James and Michael (1991), although the basic concept of transformation or reengineering is straight forward and relatively simple, implementing them is a major undertaking by any organization. It will generally involve the following:

overcoming organizational resistance

adapting a different style of leadership

introducing a new organizational culture

empowering individuals

developing flexible teams and self -oriented work groups

significantly and continually raising standards many times through endeavours such as total quality management programs

redefining the organization structure

creating well designed internal and external networks that rely on social interactions and electronic communications

addressing a whole host of auxiliary issues such as new

Policy/procedure development, ongoing training and education, dealing with technophobia and so forth, and finally

Seeing that all of this fits together through good strategic planning and management.

1.1 Statement of the problem

Business Process Reengineering (BPR) has become a major concern to our country, Ethiopia, since the past few years. Almost all governmental and some private organizations are now on the way to fully implement BPR hoping to result in better performance and superior customer satisfaction. Although the notion of BPR is many decades years old, Ethiopia has currently overwhelmed with its implementation. Some governmental organization which so far have implemented BPR partially claim to have better results. Being one of governmental organizations, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Education has currently demanded all governmental universities to implement BPR.

Currently, the number of government universities rose to twenty two, and hoped to reach more than thirty in the near future. However, the ever increasing numbers of students who join government universities together with the dynamic global environment necessitate well equipped and modern universities with technological driven process.

Achieving successful change in higher institutions is therefore of the utmost importance and identifying the benefits and challenges of implementing BPR in universities is a highly significant study. The traditional theory loaded and social science dominance field of study in Ethiopian universities are being replaced by natural science practical based education system.

Transferring to the new system from the old one needs a fundamental redesigning of university systems. This is so because the existing system was designed many decades ago when the world was relatively less complex than it is now. This critical issue which has the potential to change the country's future deserves scientific study and this is the very reason why this research is conceived. For this purpose, the research addresses the BPR implementation of two universities; Addis Ababa University and Bahir Dar University. The real question in this case is whether implementing BPR would solve problems universities are facing now and what challenges exist and will continue to exist in its actual implementation.

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Assessing the prospects of implementing BPR to universities and to the country at large and actual and potential challenges is therefore the rational for this study.

Basic Research Questions

The researcher believes that raising the following questions is important and answering them is also the rational for the study.

How important is implementing BPR to universities and to the country at large?

How do different stakeholders participate in the implementation of BPR

What are the real challenges of implementing BPR?

What are the sources of challenges for implementing BPR?

What are the possible challenges after implementation?

What are the strategies and mechanisms to withstand both the actual and potential challenges

Objectives of the study

The major objective of the research is to identify the prospects and Challenges of Implementing Business Process Reengineering (BPR) in Ethiopia Universities. To better understand this, the following specific objects are worth mentioning.

To identify the importance of implementing BPR to the country at large

To show how different stakeholders participate in the implementation of the process

To pin point the real challenges of implementing BPR in the universities

To explore sources of actual and possible challenges of implementing BPR

And to recommend possible strategies of withstanding both the actual and potential challenges

1.4 Significance of the study

As BPR is the preferred tool of increasing productivity with better customer satisfaction, doing research on the area is unquestionably important. The results of the study will contribute meaningfully to the implementation of BPR by pin pointing possible sources of challenges and suggesting possible strategies of alleviating the problems. This is so because comparing the results of BPR with the former traditional method promotes its acceptance. Besides providing empirical evidence enhances stakeholders' confidence on the BPR as a real preferred tool of achieving the desired objective. The study can also serve as a spring board for further researches on the area.

1.5 Scope of the study

Conducting a research on Ethiopian universities would have a better result if all the universities were addressed and their practices were examined in the study. However, entertaining all these things by a single researcher would consume more time and hence delay the report which could in turn trigger the research's currency. And above all due to unmanageability of including all universities in a single study, the research is confined to the two selected universities; Bahir Dar university and Addis Ababa university. The universities are deliberately chosen by the researcher because Addis Ababa University is the pioneer one in Ethiopia and could influence other universities and some of them may also take it as a bench mark. And Bahir Dar University is assumed to begin the BPR on time.

1.6 Research Methodology

1.6.1 Design of the Study

The study needs to address the prospects and challenges of implementing BPR in universities in particular that refers to how the selected universities perceive BPR and how they are implementing it, or plan to implement it to realize the country's plan of producing practical and real problems solution oriented manpower. To better approach the respondents and gain appropriate response, the qualitative method that searches for meanings, reasons, and explanations that considers the explanatory research design will be used. The study will use case approach.

Case study approach

Existing literatures such as Hall et al. (1993) suggest that the assessment of BPR in organizations including in higher education institutions would benefit more by investigating in-depth understanding of the real experience of implementing BPR. Therefore, the research will use government higher education institutions which have embarked on BPR for its detailed case study approach. The selection of the case study in government universities is based on one decisive factor: Evaluating nature of radicands in process change implementation and the universities status so far.

Therefore, I have chosen case 1: Bahir Dar University (where I belong), and case 2: Addis Ababa University whose system I know well before BPR implementation and I believe it is important for comparison and to evaluate wholeness of the Ministry of Education BPR strategy.

Actual case study fieldwork had been done through a triangulation approach to get both breadth and depth information, and which is in line with suggestions in Yin (1994), with an open-ended interview involving BPR team leaders.

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They were asked to identify the leadership factors, particularly from the strategic BPR practices, in terms of mission and vision, and also other elements such as commitment, support, and communication.

Data Sources and Instrument

For the purpose of this research, both primary and secondary data sources were used. The primary data were collected through in depth open-ended interviews.

Open-ended interviews

Specifically, a set of interview questions were prepared on the critical success factors in line with the literatures, presented in the literature review part, were asked to the top management and BPR team of the case universities. Examples of the questions are as follows:

Do you believe that Ethiopia Universities need BPR?

Are capable individuals involved in the study of BPR?

Please explain the factors that make the BPR or radical process change project succeed from your experience?

Please give your comments on how critical they were to your BPR or radical process change project success?

The secondary data are the following ones:

Documents and status reports from Ministry of Education and some other sources

Other related reading materials, Internet sources.

Archives and other data sources and research results available in the various libraries.

Sampling Technique

The study employed purposive sampling technique. This technique was deliberately chosen because the respondents are chosen based on their relevance to the study. Besides interview had also been held with Mr. Mitiku, from Ministry of Education, responsible person for BPR implementation in Ethiopia Higher Education Institutions.

Data Analysis

As the raw data were broken down into manageable chunks, I also devised an "audit trail", that is, a scheme for identifying these data chunks according to their speaker and the context. Speakers were also be typically referred in a manner that would provide a sense of context.

The next stage of analysis involved reexamination of the categories identified to determine how they are linked, a complex process sometimes called "axial coding" (Strauss and Corbin, 1990). The discrete categories that were identified in open coding were compared and combined in new ways as I began to assemble the big picture.

Finally, I translated the conceptual model into the story line that would be read by others. After analyzing the data and properly interpreting them, findings are summarized. Based on the major findings, appropriate conclusions are drawn and finally possible recommendations are forwarded for the full realization of BPR and achieving the desired objectives.

Chapter Two: Literature Review


The main objective of this chapter is to review relevant literatures that are already in existence and to indicate where this study will fit to the body of knowledge into the subject. In this chapter, background information on existing literature that established Business Process Reengineering is provided. Although the concept of BPR traces back to the scientific management theory and many scholars contributed to its development, the BPR concept coined by Hammer and Champy (1993) is the building blocks of the principles and assumption of this study. In addition, literatures that describe about BPR success and failure factors in general and in Higher Education Institutions in particular are included to establish terminology specific to this paper.

Conceptualization of BPR

There is no consensus among BPR literatures with regard to its standardized definition which can be understood similarly. Different authors coin different definition to BPR yet the essence remains similar almost in all of them.

"……Definitions of domain and subject tend to vary, in almost all but the decidedly mature disciplines. BPR is no exception to this and there exists considerable variation in what precisely constitutes BPR. Notwithstanding this fact, there appears to be a popular consensus that BPR-led change involves three basic features: first, it is a planned and deliberate endeavor to achieve dramatic improvements in performance; second, it involves a radical departure from existing mode(s) of practice and organization; and third, it is usually enabled through the application of information technology" (P.K. Ahmed, 1996)

Besides the above common basic futures, Vokola et al (1998) recommended the essential processes as cyclical in the following model depicting BPR as an endless process as there always exists room for improvement in the world of dynamism.

Vakola et al. identified eight essential processes which begins with redefining the mission and objectives and ends with seeking for ongoing and continuous improvement. According to them the process continuous as the vision and objective of the organization scales up due to quality improvement, cost reduction, and delivery speed improves.

Definition of BPR

According to Hammer and Champy (1993) business process reengineering is defined as the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business process to achieve dramatic improvements in critical contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, services and cycle time. BPR is removing hindrances and using technology to drastically invent the way in which work is done.

The above definition uses three important words; fundamental, radical, and dramatic. The fundamental rethinking and radical redesign involves thinking out of the box and viewing the entire organization as a business system--the business processes, jobs, organization structures, management systems, and values and beliefs--to achieve dramatic improvements in critical measures of performance.

As it is a radical redesign in process, BPR should be brought in only when there is a need for heavy blasting. If only improvement from the statuesque is needed it can be achieved through continuous improvements because marginal improvements of the order of ten to fifteen percent can be accomplished by it.

BPR is concerned with the complete reinvention of the way work is done. Adam Smith, like most of the other classical philosophers (Marx, Freud, Darwin, etc.) has been called into question. His concepts of economies of scale and division labor worked for twenty centuries, but they don't work today. Division of labor doesn't work today because of change, complexity, competition, customers and the absence of creativity that it causes. Division of labor makes the work simple, but the processes complex, fragmented and the management of those processes even more so. For every handoff, there must be coordination of the handoff. That takes a manager to do that, so the theory goes.

According to Hammer and Champy, reengineering capitalizes on individualism, self-reliance, a willingness to accept risk, and a propensity for change. At the heart of business reengineering lies the notion of discontinuous thinking. Identifying and abandoning outdated rules and assumptions that underlie current business operations. The old way of doing business should be forgotten and a new way viewing business should come in to play. This entails a radical rethinking which is customer focused, redefining purposes of existence, and doing the thing right.

It is very important to give careful consideration to the performance measures because these will determine how people behave. If the performance measures are installed and made visible, there will be significant behavior change. The quality improvement people witnessed this in a substantial way with their defect reduction programs. Measurements must be in place before actual improvements begin, but just installation of the measurements themselves may result in behavioral improvements.

Today's environment is too complex to be managed by the system which was designed some decades before. The dynamism of the world demands radical rethinking and redesign of the processes of "business as usual". This is the very reason that BPR becomes a dominant tool these days. The objective of implementing BPR helps in finding the optimal point where the top management maximizes control through the application of ICT and where the employee maximizes empowerment through organization redesign solution. Literatures indicate that many countries achieve these objectives as a result of effective and efficient implementation of the tool. However, there are also an offensive and failure of BPR in bringing the desired result. Majed and Zairi found out that:

"Following the publication of the fundamental concepts of BPR by Hammer (1990) and Davenport and Short (1990), many organizations have reported dramatic benefits gained from the successful implementation of BPR. Companies like Ford Motor Co., CIGNA, and Wal-Mart are all recognized as having successfully implemented BPR. However, despite the significant growth of the BPR concept, not all organizations embarking on BPR projects achieve their intended result." (Majed Al-Mashari and Mohamed Zairi, 1999)

What to reengineer?

According to many BPR scholars, reengineering should focus on processes and not be limited to thinking about the organizations. After all the organization is only as effective as its processes (Hammer and Champy, 1993). "A business process is a series of steps designed to produce a product or a service. It includes all the activities that deliver particular results for a given customer; external or internal" (Mayer, 1998). Processes are currently invisible and unnamed because people think about the individual departments more often than the process with which all of them are involved. So companies that are currently used to talking in terms of departments such as marketing and manufacturing must switch to giving names to the processes that they do such that they express the beginning and end states. These names should imply all the work that gets done between the start and finish. For example, order fulfillment can be called order to payment process [Hammer and Champy, 1993).

According to Hammer & Champy, there are three kinds of companies that undertake business process reengineering.

First, there are companies that find themselves in deep trouble. They are in a situation that can be termed as crisis. They have no choice. If a company's costs are an order of magnitude higher than it's competitors or higher than it's business model allows it, if customer service is so bad that customers are openly complaining, if its product failure rate is twice, three times or five times as great as it's competitor's, if in other words, it needs order-of-magnitude improvement, that company clearly needs Business Process Reengineering.

Secondly, there are companies that are not yet in trouble but whose management has the foresight to see trouble coming. For the time being financial results may appear satisfactory, but looming in the distance are stormy clouds in the form of new competitors, changing customer requirement or characteristics, technological breakthroughs, an altered regulatory or economic environment, that threatens to sweep away the foundations of the company's success. These companies have a vision to begin Business Process Reengineering in advance to avoid running into trouble.

The third types of company undertaking reengineering are those that are in their best shape right now. They have no discernible difficulties, either now or on the horizon, but their managements are ambitious and aggressive. These kinds of companies see reengineering as an opportunity to further their lead over their competitors. By enhancing their performance, they seek to raise the competitive bar even higher and make life even tougher for their competitors

What Business Process Reengineering is not?

There are various notions about reengineering, from people with second hand knowledge (hearsay) on the subject to those just being introduced to the concept often jump to the conclusion that it is much the same as other business improvement programs with which they are already familiar.

Hammer and Champy (1993), identified what BPR is not in their book that BPR is usually equated with automation, downsizing, restructuring or some other business fix of the month. BPR has little or nothing in common with any of these other programs and differs in significant ways even from those with which it does share some common premises such as TQM. First, BPR is not automation. Despite the important role played by information technology, reengineering is not the same as automation. Automating existing processes with information technology does not necessarily eliminate the inefficiencies or wastes residing in the system. In fact automating might simply provide more efficient ways of doing the wrong kinds of things.

Reengineering is not restructuring or downsizing. These are terms used to explain capacity reduction to meet current (lower) demand. Restructuring or downsizing means doing less with less. Reengineering, by contrast, means doing more with less.

Reengineering also is not the same as reorganizing, or flattening an organization, although reengineering may, in fact, produce a flatter organization. The problems facing companies do not stem from their organizational structures but rather from their process structures. Overlying a new organization on top of an old process is like patching an old cloth with a new piece of cloth. Companies that set out to "bust" bureaucracies are holding the wrong end of the stick. Bureaucracy is not the problem. On the contrary, bureaucracy has been the solution for the last two hundred years. If one dislikes bureaucracy in his company, let him try to get with out it. Chaos will result. Bureaucracy is the glue that holds traditional companies together. The fragmented processes, on which these traditional companies are built, can only be held intact through the mean provided by bureaucracy. The way to eliminate bureaucracy is by reengineering the processes so that they are no longer fragmented. Then the company can manage nicely without its bureaucracy.

Factors Affecting the Implementation of BPR

Despite the significant growth of the BPR concept, not all organizations embarking on BPR projects achieve their intended result. Hammer and Champy (1993) estimate that as many as 70 percent do not achieve the dramatic results they seek. Having BPR repeatedly at the top of the list of management issues in annual surveys of critical information systems reflects executives' failure to either implement properly or acquire the benefits of BPR (Alter, 1994). This mixture of results makes the issue of BPR implementation very important. BPR has great potential for increasing productivity through reduced process time and cost, improved quality, and greater customer satisfaction, but it often requires a fundamental organizational change. As a result, the implementation process is complex, and needs to be checked against several success/failure factors to ensure successful implementation, as well as to avoid implementation pitfalls.

Success Factors of BPR

Scholars in BPR have indentified many success factors which enable organization implement BPR and gain the benefit they sought.

Peppard and Fitzgerald (1997) identified success factors are ambitious objectives, the deployment of a creative team in problem solving, and a process approach and integration of electronic data processing (EDP).

Ascari et al. (1995) have discussed four other elements leading to successful BPR:

Culture (which is similar to Hall et al., 1993; Peppard and Fitzgerald, 1997)


Structure; and


Ascari's study found that the companies that implemented BPR agreed that its impact on the change of their culture was related to the organization's rethinking of its fundamental business process. The focus was also on identifying and improving core processes. However, the scope and maturity of the business process architectures and the nature of changes within processes vary within organization. In addition, there must be significant changes in structure, especially with emphasis on cross-functional work teams. He defined business process architectures as "the definition of an integrated set of business processes".

Failure Factors of BPR

Beside the success factors, many authors also highlighted some failure factors in implementing BPR. Aggarwal (1998) highlighted failures of BPR implementation, which were related to managers' arrogance, resistance, crisis, cost, vision, etc. Hammer and Champy (1993) highlighted some failure factors like failure to have a process perspective, a fixed process which is not flexible enough to be responsive to the needs and requirements, not involving employees (i.e. bottom-up) in decision making, assigning someone who does not understand BPR, technology limitations, designing a project but with focus on cost reduction and downsizing, having a weak team, and problems with communication.

It is essential therefore that companies need to understand both success and failure factors to achieve the desired objectives. As it is can be observed and heard from informal contacts, many government employees do not even understand the meaning and the rational of implementing BPR as they wrongly connote BPR with downsizing. Top management's dedicated involvement in instilling the essence and aim of BPR in the employees' mind is of paramount importance. This is also true for both academic and non academic institutions although the scope and intensity may vary.

BPR Implementation in Higher Education

Expansion of higher education has led to a need for improved efficiency in administrative services, along with a greater range and flexibility in degree programs than currently exists: new organizational structures are required (Ford HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref2"et al.HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref2", 1996). A number of HEIs are currently attempting to use BPR as a change management strategy to obtain improvements in service.

BPR involves identification of the key business objectives of the organization, and ensuring effective attainment of these objectives by redesigning business processes. Instead of the rigid functional boundaries represented roles and tasks are grouped around key business processes. Hicks (1997)considers that in the current situation, Higher Education Institutions (HEI) departments work primarily on an independent basis. Arguments for reengineering HEIs, advocate the establishment of institution-wide processes and dependencies across departmental boundaries. This can mean totally eliminating processes and starting over again, moving away from outdated and inefficient processes (Hammer, 1990). The motivation for this is the application of technology in organizations was often more to do with automating existing processes , what can be described as automating 'the existing mess'. Most work flows and job descriptions were developed before computers were introduced into organizations; processes have evolved rather than been designed (Hammer & Champy, 1993). Such obsolescence in the system may be sever especially for developing countries like Ethiopia probably for two major reasons. One reason is that the existing university systems have become constant along the generations since establishment. And the second probably is even the old systems were copied from developed countries which were viewed as benchmark and hence lack local context. Thus, for advocates of BPR, there is no rational justification for the retention of established processes in the modern organization. Martinsons and Revenaugh (1997) comment that BPR has the potential to focus the reengineered organization's efforts on value adding tasks, and reduce the number of workers required to perform a task. The processes that are reengineered must be core processes, vital to the business, or initiatives will have little impact on overall performance. If a core business element of an HEI is effective student learning (Eastcott & Farmer, 1996), then a BPR initiative would attempt to utilize IT to link teaching and learning processes across the functional boundaries of academic departments.

A crucial component required for the establishment of institution wide processes and dependencies in a University, is the introduction of an integrated IT infrastructure (Penrod & Dolence, 1992). This enables information to be transferred and accessed throughout the university and information becomes an institution-wide resource: ' is exactly this enabling infrastructure that facilitates and helps drive the process of redesigning processes and procedures of the institution.' (Penrod HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref4"&HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref4" Dolence, 1992: 20). An institution-wide IT strategy leads to effective networking of voice, data and video; these are accessed regionally, nationally and even internationally. Buchanan and Gibb (1998) consider information to be resource that generates the knowledge required to achieve the goals and objectives of the modern organization. For this reason, information can be regarded as a key source of competitive advantage (Ross HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref4"et al.HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref4", 1996). Penrod and Dolence (1992) argue that reengineering is a means for achieving competitive advantage through effective management of information. They conclusively recommend that reengineering is needed for business, industry, government, and educational enterprises to successfully move into the information/service economy.

At present, universities tend to be fragmented so that information is restricted to individual academics and departments. Ford HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref2"et al. (1996) argue that if the challenge is to develop new and more appropriate learning environments then this demands a new approach to course design and information management which cannot successfully be achieved without establishing new business processes.

Reengineering strives to counter poor responsiveness to customer needs (Willmott, 1994). Berry HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref"et al. (1990) point to the fact that customers are the real judges of service quality, but that this is not reflected in management decision making. Value is added when an organization's activities are shaped to directly meet customer demands. For instance, the intention when reengineering administrative processes in HEIs, is to make processes more student centered: processes should exist to meet students' needs (Penrod HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref4"&HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref4" Dolence, 1992). Successful BPR requires that processes are broadly defined in terms of customer (or cost) value, to improve performance across the entire business unit (Hall HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref2"et al.HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref2", 1993).

Effective BPR implementation would result in a workforce characterized by teams of multi-skilled flexible individuals, empowered by technological innovation (Hammer andHYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref3" Champy, 1993). Bureaucratic delays are wiped out as employees in reengineered organizations are empowered to contact sources of knowledge directly, side-stepping several tiers of management to complete what may previously have been a long cumbersome process in minutes. Empowerment is an important feature of BPR (Penrod HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref4"&HYPERLINK "../../../../../../../../C:/Users/Aschalew/Desktop/BPR materials/BPR.html#ref4" Dolence, 1992). Employees are held accountable for the success of the organization; empowerment means that individual efforts can contribute directly to organizational success. As reengineered jobs are organized around outcomes, employees perform all steps in a process rather than just a list of tasks.

The performance of higher education is of great significance for the competitiveness of nations (Porter, 1990). It follows, therefore, that achieving successful change in HEIs is of the utmost importance, and determining the applicability of BPR to universities is a highly significant exercise. If the old business as usual working practices are no longer efficient in the modern university, then HEIs must determine effective ways of successfully achieving change.

Process Modeling

A university-wide BPR process requires a significant investment of time on the part of staff and administrators knowledgeable about the current business practices and involved in the decision-making processes for the institution's enterprise systems planning.

A top down approach is used to first formulate the entire process at a strategic level, and then to break the elements into detailed processes. A Porter model is employed to summarize the main and support processes at overall national level for Higher Education. Regardless of what organization is involved, all activities and work done related to higher education fall in one of the categories, at macro level. Three main outputs are generated: education, research, and technology application all covered by support processes (Mehran et al., 2004). They also developed the following model, which is adopted from Porter's value chain model, to depict higher education at a national level.

In all the three levels of output, it essential that evaluation be made to check whether the outcomes are the right kind and the right amount. It is through this that BPR will bring the desired result in academic institutions to a country as a whole.


Scholars on the field of management agree that BPR is a radical rethinking and redesigning of organization in order to bring a dramatic improvement in cost reduction, delivery speed and quality improvement. There are both success and failure factors that deserve attention while implementing BPR. Revision of reward systems, communication, empowerment, people involvement, training and education, creating a culture for change, and stimulating receptivity of the organization to change are the most important success factors and failing to recognize them would be a failure otherwise.

Expansion of higher education has led to a need for improved efficiency in administrative service; along with a greater range and flexibility in degree programs than currently exist. The processes that are reengineered must be core processes, vital to the business, or initiatives will have little impact on overall performance. If a core business element of an HEI is effective student learning then a BPR initiative would attempt to utilize IT to link teaching and learning processes across the functional boundaries of academic departments.

A crucial component required for the establishment of institution wide processes and dependencies in a University, is the introduction of an integrated IT infrastructure (Penrod & Dolence, 1992). This enables information to be transferred and accessed throughout the university and information becomes an institution-wide resource.

Chapter Three: Data Analysis and Interpretation

3.1 Introduction

This chapter presents data obtained using interviews and interpret the meaning by putting side by side with the literatures. Primary data were obtained from the two universities using interview from BPR team leaders and from the Ministry of Education responsible person Ato Mitiku to obtain general information about BPR implementation throughout all universities in the country.