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Proposals for redesigning processes and the role of organizational teams: an analysis of scientific production in the light of bibliometrics

André Andrade Longaray

andrelongaray@gmail.com

Federal University of Rio Grande – FURG, Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Errol Fernando Zepka Pereira Jr

zepka@outlook.com

Federal University of Rio Grande – FURG, Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Paulo Roberto Munhoz

paulorsmunhoz@gmail.com

Federal University of Rio Grande – FURG, Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Vilmar Gonçalves Tondolo

vtondolo@gmail.com

Federal University of Pelotas – UFPel, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


ABSTRACT

The present work aims to characterize the scientific production regarding the thematic of the role played by the organizational teams in programs of redesign of processes. Methodologically, the study is of an exploratory nature, adopting the bibliographic review of the articles published in the databases Science Direct, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar. The period of analysis was between 2006 and 2016. The bibliometric technique was used to examine the selected articles. The studies of production, authorship, content and references of the articles of the sample were carried out. As some of the results, the limited number of articles published on the relationship of the process redesigning projects with their organizational teams, as well as the identification of new research possibilities within the scope of this theme.

Keywords: Teams; Process redesign; Bibliometrics.


INTRODUCTION

The internationalization of business and competitiveness have presented challenges for organizations. The world has been facing changes in all scenarios (Youssef et al., 2010). Ellwanger (2011) presents some of these changes as the need for innovation, the intensification of competition between organizations and the search for competitiveness for long-term sustainability and survival. In this sense, for Youssef et al. (2010), the capacity to adapt to these scenarios and effective responses to these new challenges becomes necessary. For the authors, Brazil is a country whose social and economic changes have brought challenges that alter its structure, requiring new creative solutions to overcome these obstacles.

In this scenario, the organization needs to be understood as an open system where both planning and organizational strategies and processes need to be integrated to contribute to the delivery of products and services that respond to the needs and requirements imposed by the market (Ellwanger, 2011). Analyzing the organizations, FUNENSEG (National School of Insurance) presented in 2009 a comparative study among the 60 first companies of Fortune magazine. The results showed that the first 30 companies had a 60% higher profit than the 30 next companies in the list. The analysis showed that the differences in terms of profitability were not linked to external factors of the organizations, but internal factors. Workers lost time with low-value-added tasks such as reading unproductive e-mails, receiving voice boxes, and attending meetings. This lost time was 2 days a week, representing 30% of the company's investment in wages. The research closes saying that most management opportunities are linked to the inside of the companies, specifically in the way they organize themselves.

For Ellwanger (2011), processes of change are inevitable for organizations that wish to continue existing. In this sense, adopting the practice of management by processes becomes a form of support for managerial progress in the search for better results, which justifies the incorporation of this theme in the organizations’ environment (Assunção et Mendes, 2000). As for process management, the term can be understood as the organizational development approach whose objective is to achieve qualitative improvements in performance from the processes, where an objective and systemic view of the activities, structures and resources that, integrated, assist in terms of meeting business objectives (Laurindo et Rotondaro, 2006).

In order to fulfill the organizational strategy, one needs the daily activities, which are carried out through organizational processes. In this sense, the management by processes would be the instrument that connects everything that is done in the organization, aiming to achieve this strategy. According to Kaplan et al. (2000), the adoption of process management brings benefits, among them, customer satisfaction, cost and price reduction of products and services, product innovation, revenue increase, profitability improvement, and percentage increase of market share.

On process management, Pradella (2012), shows that the relationship between information technology and processes is dynamic and essential. However, processes are the essence. It is necessary that information technology adapts to processes, not vice versa. Therefore, one must first understand the processes, then map them and then define which technology can be used as a tool. For the author, this management model still needs to be well diffused and practiced in Brazil, in order to achieve greater acceptance of process management in the Brazilian organizational culture.

However, Pradella (2012) argues that the change from one organization to process undergoes changes, not only in terms of technology, but also in the area of people, because people need to learn how to think in a new, reinvigorated and systemic way, understanding the business better, taking on more responsibilities and working in teams.

Within this perspective, a survey of the scientific production on the organizational teams from the point of view of the redesign of processes is relevant for the current moment of the companies, besides providing to the area information that can demonstrate to the managers of the organizations the practices identified for the management of the teams.

The objective of this article is to characterize the scientific production on the organizational teams from the point of view of the redesign of processes, through a bibliometric analysis of articles published between the years 2006 and 2016. In order to achieve the general objective, this study had the following specific objectives: (i) Raise the number of articles published per year; (ii) Highlight the number of authors per article; (iii) List the most productive authors; (iv) Disclose the participation of the institutions; (v) List the topics most covered by the articles; (vi) Display the most commonly used keywords; (vii) List the most relevant works among the articles; and (viii) Disclose the most relevant articles and books.

This article is divided into five sections. After the introduction, section 2 presents the theoretical reference referring to the organizational teams from the point of view of the redesign of processes. Section 3 demonstrates the methodology of the research, grounding the bibliometric analysis. Section 4 details the methodological procedures of the research. Finally, section 5 presents the final considerations of the work, as well as the limitations found and suggestions for future studies.

REDESIGN OF ORGANIZATIONAL PROCESSES AND TEAMS

The science of management arose from the need to adapt tasks to work methods and processes. This search for efficiency through the best ways of doing the work modeled the administration of the first decades of the twentieth century. The search for the rationalization of work at the operational level led Taylor to be the pioneer in terms of taking a methodical approach to analyzing and organizing the work from the bottom up to the top of the organization (Schachter, 2010). Criticisms of the classical theory of management are essential to the discussion; however, Taylor's principle delineates administrative science a century later: how to achieve goals by means of work through available people and organizational resources (Certo, 1994).

Historically, the emphasis on business processes in response to the quest for improved organizational performance originated in the 1970s, when Japanese quality models began to be adopted by the rest of the world (Moreno et Santos, 2012). In response to the need for radical changes required by total quality management, the Business Process Redesign (BPR) methodologies are presented as models of success (Baldan et al., 2007).

Hammer (1990) points out that companies have attempted to develop an increasingly holistic view of their processes, systems, structures and competencies in order to enable responses to the demands of the external environment to be increasingly rapid and effective. The search for new management tools and technologies has exposed organizations to a constant need to adapt and flexibilize their structures and work processes. In this sense, Longaray (1997, p.76) considers the redesign of processes as:

(...) a new way of executing organizational work, guided by the redesign of the company's activity flows, and whose main objective is the significant increase in operational results, provided by the better performance of organizational processes.

Among the various approaches to business process redesigning that emerged in the early 1990s, El Sawy (2001) points out the ones that have emerged as being those that conditioned the design of processes to organizational strategies. For the author, from 1995, with the advent of popularizing the use of the internet as a managerial tool, more specific approaches, began to emerge in order to integrate the company into its links in its supply chain. Recently, using information technology as a support tool to integrate business processes, people and the most effective knowledge in the processes of the organization, the Business Process Management - BPM arises (Moreno et Santos, 2012).

El Sawy (2001) argues that the essence of a process redesign project is the change to outdated rules and functions that may still be guiding a company's operations. In this sense, Hammer (1990) emphasizes that quality, innovation and service are more important than costs and financial controls; thus, the integration between operational processes is fundamental to the organization's business success.

For Gonçalves (2000), the transition from a more functional administration to a process management implies defining responsibilities for the progress of the process, seeking the minimization of transfers, and maximization of grouping of activities, resulting in lower energy costs. In this sense, the author understands the business processes as "coordinated activities that involve people, procedures and technologies". For the author, one of the most important characteristics of the processes, the interoperability, explains that, although the processes are performed within the functional units, most of them cross the borders of the functional areas through the interoperational teams.

Davenport et Short (1990), in turn, expand information technology from a simple tool for automation and mechanization of procedures to one of the essential components for this strategic restructuring of business processes. Gonçalves (2000) argues that the process-oriented view advances from simple activities performed within a single department to the integration of the flow of products, services and information among the functional areas of the company. For the author, from this perspective, business activities are no longer considered in isolation and are seen as integrated elements of the business processes of a workflow.

For Pradella (2013), changing the organization to a process-based administration is a pragmatic change. In the words of the author (p.98), management by processes "must be incorporated by organizational culture, and this culture is built in a gradual way, which can conflict with managers' short-term visions." The natural consequence of this change in organization is that employees are given a broader view of their respective functional roles in the organization.

In his study, Hammer (1998) points out that there is a certain difficulty in implementing this transition from a traditional organization to process management, since individuals need to learn to think in a new and reinvigorated way in order to expand their understanding in terms of the business and take on more responsibilities, working as a team. Kozlowski et Bell (2003) define teams as collective groups formed to carry out the relevant tasks in the organization, which share common goals, interact socially and develop tasks interdependently. Research exposed by Killumets et al. (2015) shows a positive relationship between processes and the performance of cross-functional teams in various types of organizations.

In this sense, Robbins (2014) states that, for changes to occur effectively within organizations, only informing people of the benefits that change will provide will not exempt them from resistance to change. For the author, people have a negative feeling about change because they understand them as threats. This feeling leads to absenteeism and staff turnover. In a study, Audia et Brion (2007) show that, although there is an exposition of data indicative of the benefits that a change can bring, when people are not committed, they will go after any data that allows them to protect themselves against the changes.

Issues such as organizational teams from the point of view of the redesign of processes can be studied from a perspective of what has been exposed in scientific production. In this sense, the systematic review of the literature on organizational teams from the point of view of process redesign acquires relevance.

METHODOLOGY

The methodological procedures of this article are described as to its purpose, character, design and techniques of data collection and analysis.

Regarding the purpose, the research is classified as research-diagnosis. For Roesch (2010), the diagnostic research intends to explore the organizational and market environment, and raise and define problems. In this work, the research aimed to explore the scientific production referring to work teams from a process perspective through a bibliometric analysis of the works published between 2006 and 2016.

Regarding the character, the research is classified as quantitative, since it transformed the information of the selected articles into statistical data for analysis. The delineation adopted for this study is the descriptive research. According to Gil (2010), the descriptive research aims to describe the characteristics of a given population, and can be elaborated with the purpose of identifying possible relations between variables. The population of this research is composed of the articles dealing with thematic processes and organizational teams found in online databases.

With regard to data collection, the method used was that of the bibliographic research, characterizing itself as the secondary source of the research data. According to Gil (2010), the bibliographic research is developed based on material already published. Traditionally, this research technique includes printed material such as books, magazines, newspapers, theses, dissertations and annals of scientific events. The bibliometric analysis, from which the information necessary for the elaboration of this research was extracted, was carried out in the data analysis stage.

BIBLIOMETRIC ANALYSIS

This research was developed in two stages. In the first one, a bibliometric analysis was carried out to collect the data related to the research objective. The second step was to present the results obtained from this analysis.

Data collection

Data collection occurred by searching for articles available on the Internet, provided by the Portal of Periodicals of Capes. The choice was based on feedback obtained by searching the terms in Google Scholar. The search was done in three databases: Scopus, Web of Science and Science Direct.

It was tried to make a survey of the scientific production related to organizational teams from the point of view of the redesign of processes. Three surveys were done in each database, being: MULTIFUNCTIONAL TEAM and PROCESS; INTERNAL GROUP DYNAMICS and PROCESS, TEAM EFFECTIVENESS and PROCESS.

In the Google Scholar database, the search was done through the title, abstract and keywords (article, title, abstract, keyboard) (Table 1).

Table 1. Searches in the Google Scholar database

Table1

Source: survey data

In the Scopus database, it was searched in the title, abstract and keywords (article, title, abstract, keyboard) within the area of social sciences and humanities (Table 2).

Table 2. Searches in the Scopus database

Table2

Source: survey data

In the Web of Science database, the search was carried out in the topics within the social sciences citation index (Table 3).

Table 3. Searches conducted in the Web of Science database

Table3

Source: survey data

In the Science Direct database, the search was performed on abstracts, titles and key words (abstract, title, keyword) within the area of social science (Table 4).

Table 4. Searches conducted in the Science Direct database

Table4

Source: survey data

The first data analysis, performed when the databases were merged, was the articles that were repeated and those that were not within the period of 2006 and 2016 (Table 5).

Table 5. Analysis: Period and Repetitions

Table5

Source: survey data

In the second analysis, the articles that had no connection with the research proposal were removed, through the individual analysis of each abstract. The first step, data collection, ended with a population of 30 articles (table 6).

Table 6. Analysis: Articles according to the research proposal

Table6

Source: survey data

RESULTS

In order to analyze the results obtained in the first phase, the results were divided into categories, being: the study of production and authorship, the study of content, and the study of bibliographical references.

Study of production and authorship

When studying the production and authorship, the objective was to raise the number of publications per year and to consider the articles from the number of authors of the articles. In addition, we sought to identify the most productive authors in the subject. In order to measure the scientific production progress of the analyzed sample in relation to the work teams on the process optics, a histogram was constructed according to the number of publications identified per year, as well as its respective line of linear tendency, exposed in Figure 1. The best fit curve was adopted using the highest R² value as the criterion. In this scope, the value of R² indicates the percentage of variation of the dependent variable (number of articles) that is explained by the independent variable (year).

Figure 1. Publications by year

Figure1

Source: survey data

It can be observed that the production of the sample, in the analyzed period, has a coefficient of determination of 0.0072. In addition, classifying the sample in relation to the number of authors per article, it was verified that articles with only one author represent 6.66%, most articles are carried out by two or three authors (60%) and the smallest part of the analyzed articles are carried out between four or five authors (30%); however, one of these articles (3,33%), with twenty authors, has to be considered an outlier. Data presented in Table 7.

Table 7. Number of authors per article

Table7

Source: survey data

In order to identify the most productive authors in the subject studied, the authors with more participation in the article sample were listed, in this way Table 8 shows those authors that appeared more than once and their respective percentage of the total of authors rose. They stand out as more productive authors: Bossche, P. V. D.; Day, D. V.; Gabelica, C.; Gijselaers, W.; Gilson, L. L.; Mathieu, J.E.; Maynard, M. T.; and Segers, M., with two articles published by each author.

Table 8. Authors with more participation in the sample

Table8

Source: survey data

At the end of the study on authorship, the most productive universities of the sample were raised in the scientific production of the subject (Table 9), analyzing the universities where the authors of the articles were linked. A total of 47 institutions were surveyed worldwide. Among them, three institutions had more than one published work: Maastricht University (Netherlands), University of Antwerp (Belgium) and University of Connecticut (USA), each with 2 articles each.

Table 9. More productive institutions

Table9

Source: survey data

Content study

When analyzing the content of the articles, it was verified which are the most recurrent themes in the period between 2006 and 2016. We also checked the keywords that appeared more frequently in the articles. In the end, the methodologies most used in the surveys were verified.

The effectiveness of the process teams was the most frequent theme, with a total of 8 articles (26.66%), followed by process teams for knowledge management, communication optimization model and virtual process teams, with 5 articles each (16.66%). The importance of the leader figure in the process teams and the importance of planning in the process teams appear at the end, with 4 (13.33%) and 3 (10%) articles, respectively. These analyzes can be seen in Table 10.

Table 10. Summary of topics covered in selected articles

Table10

Source: survey data

After analyzing the topics addressed in the articles, the most recurrent keywords in the articles were analyzed. The most recurring keywords show direct relationship to the expressions that were used in data collection. The word that appeared most frequently was "team", with a total of 29 times, representing 8.95% of the total. Soon after, "process" appears, with a total of 18 times, representing 5.55%. Then, "performance" appears, with 10 times, representing 3.08%. The terms "process" and "business" appear 9 times each (2.77%). "Goal", "organization", "product", and "strategies" appear 6 times each (1.85%). The words "effectiveness", "group-performance", and "virtual team" appear 5 times each (1.54%). These results can be seen in Table 11, which summarizes the terms that appeared at least 5 times. In all, 324 keywords were identified.

Table 11. Summary of keywords identified in articles

Table11

Source: survey data

Study of bibliographic references

In the analysis stage of the bibliographical references of the 30 articles, the objective was to identify which works of greater relevance were. To fulfill this objective, the 1262 references of articles related to individuals were analyzed. Table 12 shows the works with the greatest repercussion, which were found more than twice, highlighting the number of times they are cited, the authors, the title of the work and the type of work.

Table 12. Works of greatest repercussion among the selected articles

Table12

Source: survey data

After verifying the works of greater repercussion that were used as reference in the selected articles, the bibliometric study is finished, analyzing the articles of greater relevance. In this sense, the sum of two indicators was analyzed: (i) the number of times the article was quoted in the Google Scholar database; (ii) the number of times the article was quoted in the references of the selected articles.

The Google Scholar database informs, for each article researched, the number of times it was quoted in other documents. Using this resource, the 30 articles were searched on November 12, 2016 for the constitution of the first indicator. The second indicator is composed by counting the citations of the selected articles in the 1262 references used for the determination of the works of major repercussion.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

This study aimed to characterize the scientific production on organizational teams from the point of view of the redesign of processes published between 2006 and 2016 through an analysis of articles available in online databases. For this, the technique of bibliometrics was adopted in the study of the production, authorship, content and bibliographical references of the selected articles.

Among the main results found in the bibliometric analysis, it was verified that the topic most approached in the articles was the effectiveness of the process teams. Most articles analyzed were written by 2 or 3 authors. As for the most productive authors we can highlight: Bossche, P. V. D.; Day, D. V.; Gabelica, C.; Gijselaers, W.; Gilson, L. L.; Mathieu, J.E.; Maynard, M. T.; and Segers, M. The that stood out the most in terms of scientific production on the subject were: Maastricht University (Netherlands), University of Antwerp (Belgium) and University of Connecticut (USA).

After the systematic review of the literature through bibliometrics, the limited number of studies that deal with the issue of process management and the role of organizational teams in this context has been identified as a gap for future research. Among the limitations to the research can be highlighted the restricted amount of articles analyzed, due to the fact that articles published in a defined period.

As a suggestion, new research can be developed in the same theme; however, covering a larger number of databases. Finally, another possibility is the study of the articles that compose the bibliographic references of the selected articles, demonstrating those of greater relevance.


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Received: 04 fev. 2018

Approved: 16 Apr. 2018

DOI: 10.20985/1980-5160.2018.v13n2.1386

How to cite: Longaray, A. A.; Pereira Jr., E. F. Z.; Munhoz, P. R. et al. (2018), “Proposals for redesigning processes and the role of organizational teams: an analysis of scientific production in the light of bibliometrics”, Sistemas & Gestão, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 246-254, available from: http://www.revistasg.uff.br/index.php/sg/article/view/1386 (access day month year).



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