Process as myth : understanding the mythic core of organisational process with ideal types

Macgregor, George (2012) Process as myth : understanding the mythic core of organisational process with ideal types. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. (

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This brief contribution explores the potential of 'ideal type' approaches to modelling processes within the context of technology-supported curriculum design, specially using the Class & Course Approval System (C-CAP). An ideal type approach was found to be the only reliable way of capturing the most significant process milestones, activities and transactions. Structural metric analysis yielded perhaps the most positive quantitative data on C-CAP's impact on business process, providing numerous positive figures and evidencing a huge improvement on the extant process. Through structural metric analysis C-CAP demonstrated potential for improving approval process cycle time, process reliability, process visibility, process automation, process parallelism and reductions in transition delays, thus contributing to considerable process efficiencies. Analysis also identified several stages or activities in the process that require fundamental adjustment in order to improve overall process performance. A more general but related limitation to such theoretical approaches is the difficulty in accurately modelling business process in an "institutionalised organisation" where organisational myth, process misunderstanding and process subversion are pervasive.