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Emerging challenges for Business Process Management: the role of external resources and collaborations

Special issue call for papers from Business Process Management Journal

Business Process Management Journal
Call for Papers
Emerging challenges for Business Process Management: the role of external resources and collaborations
Guest Editors
Prof. Stefano Bresciani
University of Turin

Prof. Demetris Vrontis
University of Nicosia

Prof. Elias G. Carayannis
George Washington University
Washington DC

Prof. Samuel Fosso Wamba
Toulouse Business School

Dr Valentina Cillo
University of Rome “Link Campus”


An intense competition and a dynamic environment are posing new challenges for business process management (BPM) within organisations striving to be competitive. In this regard, organisations that aim to re-organize and reshape business processes and operations cannot rely only on internal resources (Niehaves, 2010). Accordingly, they can and should leverage external resources, such as smart data, information, knowledge, know-how, technologies, and collaborate with different partners to improve the management of business processes (Liu et al., 2009), following an open innovation logic (West and Bogers, 2014).
Opening to external resources can enhance ambidextrous business processes of organisations both in terms of internal efficiency (exploitation) and in terms of opportunities and technological trajectories recognized (exploration) (Rothaermel and Alexandre, 2009; Vrontis et al., 2017; Ferraris et al., 2018). However, while there are many studies on the positive effect of external resources exploitation on product innovation performance (see for example Laursen and Salter, 2006), studies about the effect of external resources exploitation on improved business processes and process innovation are relatively scarce. Therefore, we still know very little about the relationship between BPM and external resources exploitation (Niehaves and Plattfaut, 2011), and how external resources and/or collaborations are changing the way of managing and adapting internal business processes, especially exploiting new technological paradigms and tools (El-Kassar & Singh, 2018).
In fact, a new technological scenario is emerging where collaborative business processes can be established through gathering data and knowledge that are globally dispersed (Ferraris et al., 2017). Collaborative business processes often go hand in hand with the digital transformation driven by new technological platforms, tools and paradigms such as the artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and big data deployment (Del Giudice, 2016; Scuotto et al., 2016; Scuotto et al., 2017), that allow to connect actors, processes and acquire rare and valuable resources to improve business processes (Wamba et al., 2015; Wamba et al., 2017).

Aims and scope of the Special Issue

Following the introduction, this special issue is directed to discuss and highlight how business processes can be (re) shaped and improved by leveraging external resources and collaborations, in order to contribute to this hot and recent field of study.
Submissions could consist of both conceptual and applied research in topics including, but not limited to:
•    Impact of external resources on business process management
•    The role of external collaborations for business process management
•    Ambidexterity and exploitation of external resources: impact on BPM
•    Collaborative business processes and organisational performance
•    New technological paradigms and platforms for BPM
•    Collaborative external tools for the business performance
•    Business process innovation and external knowledge integration
•    Digital transformation and business process management
•    Knowledge transfer processes and business process innovation
•    Re-shaping business processes through strategic collaborations
•    Internal vs external resources for business process improvements



Important Dates


•    Submission Deadline: 31 March 2019
•    Notification of Acceptance/Revisions: 30 June 2019
•    Final paper production deadline for accepted papers: 30 October 2019
•    Publication Date: expected by 2020


 Instructions for submissions


Submissions to Business Process Management Journal are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Registration and access is available at
All submitted papers are expected to fully comply with BPMJ standards and are subject to regular review procedures. Papers should be 4,000 to 7,000 words in length and should not have been published previously nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere in any other format (print or electronic).
Full Author Guidelines, including creating an account and submitting a paper, can be found here.  Please ensure you select the “(Re) Shaping Business Processes leveraging external resources and collaborations” special issue option when submitting your paper, otherwise your paper will be considered for a regular issue. Final acceptance of approved papers will be contingent on incorporating reviewers’ feedback to the satisfaction of the Guest Editors.
For all additional information, contact the Leading Guest Editor, Prof. Stefano Bresciani, Department of Management, University of Turin, at



Al-Mashari, M., & Zairi, M. (1999). BPR implementation process: an analysis of key success and failure factors. Business process management journal, 5(1), 87-112.
Del Giudice, M. (2016). Discovering the Internet of Things (IoT) within the business process management: A literature review on technological revitalization. Business Process Management Journal, 22(2), 263-270.
El-Kassar, A. N., & Singh, S. K. (2018). Green innovation and organizational performance: The influence of big data and the moderating role of management commitment and HR practices. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Forthcoming.
Ferraris, A., Santoro, G., & Bresciani, S. (2017). Open innovation in multinational companies' subsidiaries: the role of internal and external knowledge. European Journal of International Management, 11(4), 452-468.
Ferraris, A., Monge, F., & Mueller, J. (2018). Ambidextrous IT capabilities and business process performance: an empirical analysis. Business Process Management Journal, 1-42.
Laursen, K., & Salter, A. (2006). Open for innovation: the role of openness in explaining innovation performance among UK manufacturing firms. Strategic management journal, 27(2), 131-150.
Liu, C., Li, Q., & Zhao, X. (2009). Challenges and opportunities in collaborative business process management: Overview of recent advances and introduction to the special issue. Information Systems Frontiers, 11(3), 201-209.
Niehaves, B. (2010). Open process innovation: The impact of personnel resource scarcity on the involvement of customers and consultants in public sector BPM. Business Process Management Journal, 16(3), 377-393.
Niehaves, B., & Plattfaut, R. (2011). Collaborative business process management: status quo and quo vadis. Business Process Management Journal, 17(3), 384-402.
Rothaermel, F. T., & Alexandre, M. T. (2009). Ambidexterity in technology sourcing: The moderating role of absorptive capacity. Organization science, 20(4), 759-780.
Scuotto, V., Ferraris, A., & Bresciani, S. (2016). Internet of Things: Applications and challenges in smart cities: a case study of IBM smart city projects. Business Process Management Journal, 22(2), 357-367.
Scuotto, V., Santoro, G., Bresciani, S., & Del Giudice, M. (2017). Shifting intra‐and inter‐organizational innovation processes towards digital business: An empirical analysis of SMEs. Creativity and Innovation Management, 26(3), 247-255.
Vrontis, D., Thrassou, A., Santoro, G., & Papa, A. (2017). Ambidexterity, external knowledge and performance in knowledge-intensive firms. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 42(2), 374-388.
Wamba, S. F., Akter, S., Edwards, A., Chopin, G., & Gnanzou, D. (2015). How ‘big data’can make big impact: Findings from a systematic review and a longitudinal case study. International Journal of Production Economics, 165, 234-246.
Wamba, S. F., Gunasekaran, A., Akter, S., Ren, S. J. F., Dubey, R., & Childe, S. J. (2017). Big data analytics and firm performance: Effects of dynamic capabilities. Journal of Business Research, 70, 356-365.
West, J., & Bogers, M. (2014). Leveraging external sources of innovation: a review of research on open innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31(4), 814-831.