Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Organizational and technological systems analysis and design practices such as process modeling have received much attention in recent years. However, while knowledge about related artifacts such as models, tools, or grammars has substantially matured, little is known about the actual tasks and interaction activities that are conducted as part of analysis and design acts. In particular, key role of the facilitator has not been researched extensively to date. In this paper, we propose a new conceptual framework that can be used to examine facilitation behaviors in process modeling projects. The framework distinguishes four behavioral styles in facilitation (the driving engineer, the driving artist, the catalyzing engineer, and the catalyzing artist) that a facilitator can adopt. To distinguish between the four styles, we provide a set of ten behavioral anchors that underpin facilitation behaviors. We also report on a preliminary empirical exploration of our framework through interviews with experienced analysts in six modeling cases. Our research provides a conceptual foundation for an emerging theory for describing and explaining different behaviors associated with process modeling facilitation, provides first preliminary empirical results about facilitation in modeling projects, and provides a fertile basis for examining facilitation in other conceptual modeling activities.