Effective Business Processes and Technology Integration


Effective business processes enable companies to achieve their performance-related objectives. However, with the rapid emergence of new technologies, business processes have embraced technology. The know-how enables changes in business processes, providing employees know how to optimize and utilize information technology. In order to integrate technology into business processes, it is critical to understand different organizational levels and varied types of processes that organizations have to implement to realize profits (Marcinkowski & Gawin, 2019). Exploring different organizational levels, types, and dimensions of processes, decision-making, and components of business processes in a company is critical to the successful integration of technology in an enterprise.

Levels of an Organization

Many organizations have levels of management regardless of how they are structured. There are three primary levels of organizations: first level, middle level, and top level. The three organizational levels are essential in decision-making and are ranked in order of their significance. However, contemporary organizations abandon hierarchical management and adopt bottom-up decisions that simplify operations and speed up innovation. The top level of an organization consists of the senior management, consisting of vice presidents, chairpersons, chief executive officer (CEO), and other top positions (Wijnberg et al., 2002). The executive level of an organization is responsible for making decisions that affect an entire firm by setting goals and offering direction on achieving a company’s objectives (Marcinkowski & Gawin, 2019). In addition, the top level of an organization determines a company’s performance.

The middle level of an organization carries out the goals that are set at the top organizational level. The middle level establishes goals that support those set by top-level management. As a result, the middle level is actively involved in the daily enterprise workings and can offer critical information to the top level of an organization and enhance the bottom line of a firm. The first level of an organization handles the operations of a company. It comprises employees such as department managers, office managers, store managers, and shift supervisors. The first level is responsible for managing line workers daily and ensuring that the production or provision of services is effective (Marcinkowski & Gawin, 2019). The three organizational levels are present in most companies, with each firm having a different variation of the various levels.

Generic Levels and Types of Processes

Davenport (1993) and Dickson (2003) have interesting views about the generic levels and types of processes that occur in an organization. Davenport (1993) uses manufacturing firms to explain an organization’s typical processes and levels. An organization has operational and management levels, with each having different types of processes. The operational level includes product development, post-sales service, order management, integrated logistics, manufacturing, customer acquisition, and customer requirements identification. Critical processes like product development require many functional skills (Davenport, 1993). When new product designs are created by research and development, the marketing department tests them for acceptance in the market as engineering evaluates them to identify if they are viable for manufacturing.

According to Davenport (1993), the management level consists of planning and resource allocation, human resource management, information management, asset management, and performance monitoring. Generally, the management level is responsible for ensuring that all organizational levels have sufficient support to achieve a company’s objectives (Davenport, 1993). On the other hand, Dickson (2003) explores evolutionary economics where he argues that process reproduction enables system replication routines. Such mechanisms are categorized into organization operational units, organization system control routines, organization learning routines, and organization resource deployment routines. The hierarchy of organizational processes promotes evolution and allows primary functions such as outbound logistics, operations, purchasing, inbound logistics, and marketing to expand into broader detail during every evolution (Dickson, 2003). The significant similarity between Davenport (1990) and Dickson (2003) lies in business processes’ ability to enable organizations to work more effectively.

Organizational Processes and Organizational Boundaries

Business processes happen between companies; therefore, they can be classified by the type of firms involved. A type of organization process that occurs between firms is the inter-organizational processes between different companies. An important example of inter-organizational processes is the electronic data interchange (EDI), which allows the creation of an automation process through EDI for companies that depend on each other to satisfy their product needs. EDI speeds up common purchasing transactions like bills or invoices by automating transactions between two different organizational entities. Another type of organizational process that happens in a company is inter-functional. Such processes happen within a firm but across several distinct divisional units. They involve tasks that can realize significant operation goals, such as production scheduling, asset management, and product realization. Furthermore, product delivery, product development, and customer service are examples of major inter-functional business processes (Davenport & Short, 1990). Such processes utilize information technology to improve company performance.

Task Dimensions

Business processes or tasks often need a unit structure for control and coordination across organizational levels. Business processes demonstrate two dimensions: task variability as well as task difficulty. Task difficulty is the process of analyzing the work itself and the extent that a standard procedure stipulates sequential steps that can be followed while carrying out a task. After completing the analysis, the business process is rated in terms of the complexity of the search process, the time needed to solve problems that emerge, and the depth of knowledge required to finish a task. In contrast, task variability is a more superficial dimension that explores exceptional cases that emerge during task completion and require different procedures for carrying out the work (Van de Ven & Delbecq, 1974). Task difficulty and task variability are treated as dimensions that are not interrelated in meaning.

Decision-Making at Different Organizational Levels

There are different organizational levels which include work floor, middle management, and top management. Forms of decisions made in the three organizational levels include type-2 and type-1 decisions. They are distinguished by how they affect various aspects of a company. Type-1 decisions are primary and directly connected with the performance of a company as a collective entity. Type-1 decisions consider a company’s accountability towards its stakeholders and may primarily influence strategic performance. Type-2 decisions, on the other hand, are secondary and affect specific operating measures of performance at a lower level than type-1 decisions (Wijnberg et al., 2002). Type-1 decisions are typically made by top management and communicated to middle management.

The middle management then conveys type-2 and type-1 decisions to the work floor. Then, the work floor only makes type-2 decisions, with information flowing from the bottom to the top and vice versa. Technological innovation improves information flow between the three levels of an organization. Office technology, such as data-processing and communication technologies, serve in primary decision-making and internal information systems. For instance, punched-card technology can enhance information streams inside an organization and promote control (Wijnberg et al., 2002). In addition, general technology can amplify operations control and enable type-1 decisions to only be accessible by the top management.

Importance of Business Process Components

Business process reengineering (BPR) models utilize the IDEF (Integration DEFinition) concept to improve an enterprise’s competitiveness. IDEF is designed to provide a model for any manufacturing organization’s activities, actions, and decisions. The five-business process component provides a user with a powerful analytical tool. Furthermore, the components assist modelers in identifying performed functions and what is required to carry out the tasks successfully. The five business process components include the BPR principle, process, tools, information systems, and organizational redesign. BPR principles include modularity, concurrency, paradigm shift, value focus, and goal orientation. If any of the components are removed, business processes will not achieve the desired outcome. Project milestones are disrupted, indicating that coordination of business processes will be impaired, resulting in a collapse of the enterprise (Kim & Jang, 2002). Business processes need all five components in order to function effectively.


In conclusion, examining different organizational levels, generic processes, organizational process types, task dimensions, decision forms, and business process components is crucial to integrating technology in a firm. There are several levels of an organization: first level, top level, and middle level. Such levels determine the type of decisions that the levels of a company can influence. Type-1 decisions typically involve strategy, whereas type-2 decisions concentrate on specific operational measures of performance. Organizational processes such as inter-functional and inter-organizational can happen across and within organizations as companies strive to streamline operations. Business processes may have different dimensions, such as task variability and difficulty. The essential components of business processes are vital because they provide an analytical model for identifying what is required to achieve a company’s objectives. Understanding the levels of enterprises can promote the effective integration of BPR models.


Davenport, T. H. (1993). Process innovation: Reengineering work through information technology. Harvard Business Press.

Davenport, T.H. & Short, J.E. (1990). The new industrial engineering: Information technology and business process redesign. Sloan Management Review, 31(4), 11-27.

Dickson, P. R. (2003). The pigeon breeders’ cup: A selection on selection theory of economic evolution. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 13(3), 259-280.

Kim, S. H., & Jang, K. J. (2002). Designing performance analysis and IDEF0 for enterprise modeling in BPR. International Journal of Production Economics, 76(2), 121-133.

Marcinkowski, B., & Gawin, B. (2019). A study on the adaptive approach to technology-driven enhancement of multi-scenario business processes. Information Technology & People, 32(1), 118-146.

Van de Ven, A. H., & Delbecq, A. L. (1974). A contingent task model of the work-unit structure. Administrative Science Quarterly, 19(2), 183-197.

Wijnberg, N. M., Van den Ende, J., & de Wit, O. (2002). Decision making at different levels of the organization and the impact of new information technology: Two cases from the financial sector. Group & Organization Management, 27(3), 408-429.

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