University of Twente Student Theses


Using workarounds for better process compliance

Boksebeld, J.J.C (2020) Using workarounds for better process compliance.

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Abstract:This master thesis aims to provide a better understanding of workarounds. Companies want to work more and more efficient and effective. However, a lot of companies, especially small companies, are facing so-called, workarounds. Alter (2014) describes a workaround as: "a goal-driven adaption, improvisation, or other change to one or more aspects of an existing work system to overcome, bypass, or minimize the impact of obstacles, exceptions, anomalies, mishaps, established practices, management expectations, or structural constraints that are perceived as preventing that work system or its participants from achieving the desired level of efficiency, effectiveness, or other organizational or personal goals” (p. 104). The problem in the academic field is that workarounds can be hard to detect because it is caused by typical human behaviour. Human behaviour is, most of the time identified by observation or interviews. However, process mining makes it able to detect human behaviour on a quantitative approach. This study aims to investigate how practical process mining is in the detection of workarounds in the organization. This is particularly interesting since this approach is based on quantitative research be using ERP data of an SME company to detect the "real" process. This case is tested on a company with approximately 150 employee and is a metal ware factory. This study aims to develop and test a more systematic approach to detect workarounds. The approach used in this study is to develop a De Jure model and compare this model in three different analysis; the control flow, time-perspective and resource-based analysis. Every unusual event or activity is than classified with the theory of Alter (2014). Eventually, the detected workarounds are assessed on whether they are harmless, essential or a hindrance. The result of this research is that process mining is a useful technique for the discovering or detection of workarounds. However assessing the workaround on their value or the categorization is harder, since this heavily relies on the experience and knowledge of the researcher and for that reason is biased. However this study was quiet successful in developing a new technique/method for the detection and classification of workarounds. In addition, this study is focussed on one company and one case, and is therefore less generalizable and trustful.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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