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Abstract

In this essay, I present a reflective and generative analysis of Business Process Management research, in which I analyze process management and the surrounding research program from the viewpoint of a theoretical paradigm embracing analytical, empirical, explanatory and design elements. I argue that this view not only reconciles different perceptions of BPM and different research streams, but that it also informs ways in which the BPM research program could develop into a much richer, more inclusive and overall more significant body of work than it has to date. I define three perspectives on a BPM research agenda, give several examples of exciting existing research, and offer key opportunities for further research that can (a) strengthen the core of BPM, (b) generate novel theory from BPM in relevant and topical big issue domains, and (c) explore more rigorously and comprehensively the protective belt of BPM assumptions that much of the present research abides by. The essay ends with some recommendations for continuing the debate about what constitutes BPM and some suggestions for how future research in this area might be carried out.

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