Due to growing concern about the competitiveness of industry in the international marketplace and the efficiency ofgovernment enterprises, widespread initiatives are currently underway to enhance thecompetitive posture offirms and to streamline government operations. Nearly all enterprises are engaged in assessing ways in which their productivity, product quality and operations can be improved. These efforts canbe described as Business Process Engineering (BPE). BPE had its roots in industry under differing titIes: Process Improvement, Process Simplification, Process Innovation, Reengineering, etc. It has matured to be an important ingredient of successful enterprises in the private and public sectors. After extensive exploitation by industrial and governmental practitioners and consultants, it is attracting increasing attention from academics in the fields of engineering and business. However, even with all of this attention in the popular literature, serious scholarly literature on BPE is in short supply. TItis is somewhat surprising, especially since so many large international organizations have attempted BPE projectswith varied success.
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