Among Fumblers, Talkers, Mappers, and Organizers: Four applications of process orientation
The objective of the present study is to analyze potential differences between various applications of process orientation.
A questionnaire intended to capture respondents’ attitudes towards their process initiatives was sent out to people with explicit knowledge of process orientation at Region Västra Götaland, which manages the region’s healthcare system: 17 hospitals, 134 healthcare centers and 170 public dental care clinics. A total of 183 individuals were questioned (response rate 68%).
In a cluster analysis, four groups of users of process orientation were identified. One group is still fumbling with their application (Fumblers); another group mainly talks about their processes (Talkers); the third group has mapped their processes (Mappers); and the final group manages their processes with designated process owners and measurement systems (Organizers). The Organizers perceived the greatest effect on organizational performance, slightly greater than the Talkers. The Mappers perceived a significantly lower effect. The results also show that the perceived resistance from inhibiting aspects decreases the more manifest and explicit the application of the process orientation is (i.e. Mappers and Organizers). This implies that problems and resistance are greater when process orientation is abstract and less known (i.e. Fumblers and Talkers). This raises an interesting question: is the idea of process orientation perhaps more threatening than its practice?