Reengineering the finance function with the socio-technical approach : a case study in fashion retailing chain

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Reengineering the finance function with the socio-technical approach : a case study in fashion retailing chain

 

Author: Chan, Oi-man
Title: Reengineering the finance function with the socio-technical approach : a case study in fashion retailing chain
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1997
Subject: Retail trade -- Management -- Case studies
Reengineering (Management)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Computing
Pages: viii, 88 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1405583
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2897
Abstract: Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business process to bring about dramatic improvements in performance (Hammer and Champy, 1993). BPR is one of the latest ideas in 1990s associated with IS / IT as an enabler that is offered to businesses for performance enhancement. However in reviewing the experience in the last few years in the business would, BPR projects showed high failure rate. Businesses have learned that BPR is not always workable and great caution must be taken. This dissertation focuses on the case study of BPR implementation in the finance area of a fashion retail chain organisation. The objective of the project is to research into the methodologies through the BPR study, and establish a theoretical framework that is applicable in the finance function of the retail industry. In particular, a comparison between the Generic Approach and the Socio-technical Approach is undertaken, in the hope of yielding maximum and minimum risks in BPR implementation. The organisation under studying started as a family business forty years ago. It has undergone substantial growth in the last two decades, and now is one of the largest high fashion retail chain in terms of turnover and number of retail outlets. Due to its rapid growth, its information systems could not meet the requirements in the day to day operation. By matching the information infrastructure and the business processes, the following problems have been identified: - Lack of IT planning - Insufficient deployment of IT in its work processes - Disintegration of core and Support Systems - Dislocation of Support and Management Processes Like many businesses which are confronted with problematic situation, the organisation decided to redesign its processes, in particular in its finance function area. This dissertation is divided into the following 5 chapters:- Chapter 1 - Introduction This chapter introduces the background information of BPR and the organisation under studying. The project objective has also been highlighted to lead to BPR planning and implementation in the organisation. Chapter 2 - Research Methodology This chapter discusses the strengths and weaknesses of various research methodologies. Justification of the choice of case study as research methodology has also been articulated. Chapter 3 - Literature Research This chapter aims at taking extensive literature review, analysis of other information drawing from cross-comparison with the empirical results of other similar BPR researches. In particular, a comparison between the Generic Approach and the Socio-technical Approach is undertaken, in turn to build up a theoretical framework for BPR implementation. Chapter 4 - Implementation of BPR This chapter describes the implementation schedule of the BPR processes in the organisation. The results of the BPR has also been analysed and evaluated in a critical manner. Chapter 5 - Conclusion This chapter serves as a round up chapter to conclude the empirical experience gained in the implementation of the BPR project. The applicability of the proposed model, together with its limitation has been assessed. Finally, some topics are proposed for future researches. The main research findings from this case study are: - The case study demonstrates that the role of information technologies is highly significant in the value-chain industry. Process value-added can be achieved through BPR in the industry; - The BPR implementation guidelines that developed from the integration of Generic Model with the attributes of the Socio-technical approach are applicable in the case study; - The isolation of BPR (intra-functional BPR) in a specific functional area will limit the power of BPR. When the management considers BPR, they should view the entire organisation as a collection of horizontal process as in order to amplify the degree of transformation rendered by BPR; - BPR can be one of the ways for formulating IS strategies by forcing IS initiatives to be grounded in the business and integrated with other business changes.

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