Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 14 Number 1 1997 pp. 93-118

Balance in Business Reengineering: An Empirical Study of Fit and Performance

Huizing, Ard, Koster, Esther, and Bouman, Wim

ABSTRACT: This study addresses the complex relationship between fit and organizational performance in business reengineering. First, a framework for analysis based on the concept of fit is proposed. Three generic archetypes for three levels of ambitions are defined. Archetypes or ideal-type patterns of change are consistent packages of design and change management measures. It is hypothesized that organizations that change according to an ideal-type pattern outperform organizations that follow a different, inconsistent pattern. On the basis of a questionnaire sent to organizations involved in reengineering, this paper shows that consistent reengineering endeavors generally result in greater benefits than do inconsistent change efforts. It also demonstrates that only a minority of organizations have succeeded in creating a "magical mix" between the level of ambition and the design and change management measures actually taken. Finally, the managerial implications and future research challenges are described.

Key words and phrases: business reengineering, organizational change, organizational fit, organizational performance