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Modelling the regulative role of business processes with use and misuse cases

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for understanding value-added and abuse prevention activities in business processes. Design/methodology/approach – The paper considers business processes as a regulation mechanism that an organization uses to survive and flourish in its environment. It proposes a theoretical framework based on the concept of homeostasis, the maintenance of identity in a changing world. In this framework the paper classifies business processes into three levels (strategic, operational, regulative) and analyse the relationships between these three levels. Based on this framework, the paper extends the â–œUse and Misuse Casesâ–? technique to support modelling of value-added and abuse prevention activities. Findings – The main finding is the importance of considering business processes as regulation mechanisms. Traditionally, business processes are analysed through the goals they are designed to achieve. This paper analyses what the organization aims at maintaining. This makes it possible to explicitly model the potential abuses (threats) to business processes and their associated corrective measures (regulative processes). Practical implications – Use of this framework enables process designers to explicitly model abuse prevention activities, even though they are traditionally considered as not participating in customer value creation. This should lead to better-fitting business processes. Originality/value – The framework is useful because it provides a theoretical justification for the value creation and abuse prevention activities that can be found in business processes. The three levels that we use to analyse business processes (strategic, operational and regulative) constitute an innovation in business process modelling where only two levels (strategic and operational) have been considered thus far. Few, if any, business process theoretical frameworks provide this kind of rationale for abuse prevention activities.
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Keywords: Modelling; Organizational processes; Systems theory

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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