Surges and sediments: Shaping the reception of reengineering

Stefan Heusinkveld*, Jos Benders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The business community is continuously confronted with allegedly new concepts. These are often temporarily intensely advocated, yet are at the same time likely to be portrayed as transitory or 'faddish' phenomena. To trace the reception of these concepts, this paper examines the Dutch discourse on business process reengineering (BPR). Instead of showing a single transitory pattern, empirical evidence revealed a complex and multifaceted dynamic. Though BPR has been propagated extensively, it has been exploited as an umbrella to encompass divergent organizational insights. At the same time, the reception pattern of the concept varied significantly across distinct social contexts. Particularly, BPR had a significant and sustained impact within the Dutch IS community. Although the concept has been criticized since its inception, it has undoubtedly induced discourse that has been used widely to shape contemporary IS problems and solutions. As a result, this concept has played a significant role in the dissemination and understanding of organizational knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-251
Number of pages13
JournalInformation and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2001


  • Business process reengineering
  • Diffusion of organizational knowledge
  • IS issues
  • Management fashion
  • Organization concepts


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