This paper explores the political character of business process re-engineering (BPR) and its associated information systems (IS) change. This political character means that the scope of business processes and their associated IS, the scale and type of change and the evaluation of BPR success are subject to different interpretations depending on the role and interests of those stakeholders involved with them. Therefore although BPR and IS change are functionally related, even coupled processes, they nevertheless react to different political factors and thus do not flow along in a synchronised, parallel way. Rather, they depend upon other stakeholders, and the choice of which stakeholders to give importance to is greatly influenced by their perceived usefulness in the change process. In the case studied, IS, BPR, the consortium and the builder were all vital to the project's success, whereas staff interests were excluded or manipulated because they were seen as resisting change. Managing change processes and stakeholders during a re-engineering project therefore involves the motivating and controlling of several parallel processes, some of which are advancing while others are blocked. The reason why some processes and stakeholders gain a voice in the project depends on their ability to reduce uncertainty and thus to move the project forward.
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