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Abstract

Business process management (BPM) has developed as a research field primarily situated in the computer and information systems sciences. Recently, van der Aalst (2013) analyzed the results of these research efforts and identified a set of research topics in the form of a series of BPM research use cases. Those BPM research use cases emphasize technological and computational challenges and solutions. Ideally, however, BPM research should also address managerial and organizational challenges that the existing technically oriented research use cases do not fully reflect. We propose expanding the scope and impact of BPM research by drawing on work system theory (WST) to identify new BPM research use cases and directions. After comparing a WST perspective on basic BPM topics with the technically oriented BPM perspective expressed in van der Aalst (2013), we present new research topics that extend the technically oriented BPM research use cases in van der Aalst (2013). We also present new research directions that go beyond those use cases. Taken together, the extensions of the existing research use cases and the new use cases lead to a more balanced BPM research agenda that more fully blends technical and managerial challenges.

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