Document Type

Research Paper


Today’s organizations are struggling with increasing business process complexity and face serious problems when standardizing business processes. A possible strategy seems to be to enhance standardization efforts in order to ensure standardization success. In this paper, we analyze the triangle relationship between standardization effort, business process complexity, and business process standardization. We test the hypotheses that higher business process complexity is related to higher standardization effort and lower business process standardization as well as that higher standardization effort is related to higher business process standardization. We report on the development and testing of a conceptual model that allows to understand the impact of business process complexity on business process standardization and standardization effort. Findings from a survey among 255 business process management experts are used to evaluate our hypotheses. Our results suggest that business process complexity has to be considered as an important driver of standardization effort and constrains business process standardization. Moreover, we show that higher standardization effort cannot compensate for higher business process complexity to ensure business process standardization.