Process Reengineering in African Public Sector: Lessons From the Private Sector

Fatile, Jacob Olufemi, Mutereko Sybert, Emma Etim


Process reengineering (PR) is a newly introduced approach to process management; it pays close attention to all the processes that are related to the achievement of organizational objectives. Although originally developed for and applied in the private sector, PR is expected to constitute a handy tool for the transformation of work processes in public sector organizations (PSOs), especially in this era of information and communications technology. This paper x-rays PR in African public sector organizations (APSOs) with an emphasis on lessons to be learnt from the private sector. This paper adopts a descriptive approach, to validate and modify extant theoretical models that are relevant in explaining PR in APSOs. The paper observes that APSOs, unlike the private sector organizations (PrSOs), PSOs have failed in the adoption of PR as well as carrying out logically related tasks in such a way that well-defined results are achieved. It reveals further that poor PR in APSOs has been a clog in the wheel of achieving high performance, efficient service delivery, public satisfaction, efficient management of resources, and sustainable development in Africa. This paper concludes that APSOs can fully adopt PR if they cut down on excessive bureaucracy and learn more from the private sector in terms of readiness and adaptability to environmental changes and transformation as advocated by the contingency theory (CT). The paper recommends, amongst others, that there should be the availability of information technology (IT) infrastructure and the willingness on the part of government representatives to deploy new technologies through adequate support for information technology companies and the prioritization of IT application's needs for high system automation. Managers of APSOs should be given the power to effect changes when the need arises, without any form of influence. Also, there should be concerns about the future of PSOs, and citizens who are clients thereof should be held in high esteem and not to be treated as ‘people in need of favour’. Finally, APSOs should embrace radical changes associated with PR especially by ensuring that promotions are based on merit and not on seniority alone.

Full Text:



Abdolvand, N., Albadvi, A., & Ferdowsi, Z. (2008). Assessing readiness for business process reengineering. Business Process Management Journal, 14(4), 497-511.

Amanquah, B., & Adjei, K. S. (2013). Business process reengineering (PR) in the financialservices sector: A case study of Ghana commercial bank (GCB) limited. European Journal of Business and Management, 5(29), 59-66

Andersen, K. V. (2006). Reengineering public sector organizations using information technology. in Eric E Otenyo and Nancy S Lind (eds.), Comparative public administration (Research in public policy analysis and management). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 15, 615–634.

Arasteh, A., Aliahmadi, A., Mahmoodi, H. S., & Mohammadpour, M. O. (2010). Role of information technology in business revolution. Int J Adv Manuf Technology.

Assbeihat, J. M. (2016). The Impact of Collaboration among Members on Team’s Performance. Manag. Adm. Sci. Rev., 5(5), 248-259

Baxter, L. E. (2013). Supportive Leadership, Employee Engagement and Occupational Safety: A Field Study. PhD dissertation. University of Tennessee.

Bhaskar, H. L. (2014). PR as a quality improvement tool, Handbook of Management, Technology and Social Sciences. Noida: SEMS Publication.

Bhaskar, H. L. (2018). Business process reengineering: A process management tool. Serbian Journal of Management, 13(1), 63 – 87.

Bokhari, A. S., & Qureshi, R. J. (2016). Business process reengineering in public administration of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. IT Information Engineering and Electronic Business, 4, 10-17.

Callender, G. (2001). Public Sector Organizations. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 1. Retrieved from: on April 23rd, 2020.

Crowe, T. J., Fong, P. M., Bauman, T. A., & ZayasCastro, J. L. (2002). Quantitative risk level estimation of business process reengineering efforts. Business Process Management Journal, 8(5), 490-511.

Debela, T., & Hagos, A. (2011). The design and implementation of business process reengineering in the Ethiopian public sector: n assessment of four organizations. African Books Collective Limited.

Debela, T. (2009). Business process reengineering in Ethiopian public organizations: the relationship between theory and practice. JBAS, 1(2), 21 -33.

Duke, O. O., Okudero, G. O., Etim, E & John, E. M (2020). E- Administration and public sector reforms in Nigeria: from the socio-technical doctrine. International Journal of Business Education and Management Studies, 4(1), 25-38.

Dutta, S. (2007). Recognizing the true value of software assets. INSEAD & microfocus ltd. 1-29.

Essam, M.M., & Mansar, S.L. (2012). Towards a software framework for automatic business process redesign. ACEEE International Journal on Information Technology, 2(1), 23-28.

Fiedler, F. E. (1964). A theory of leadership effectiveness. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology. New York: Academic Press.

Fiedler, F. E. The contribution of cognitive resources to leadership performance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 16, 532–545.

Fountain, J. (2001). Building the virtual state. Brooking Institution Press, 1

Fragoso, J. T. (2015). Business Process Reengineering in Government Agencies: Lessons from an Experience in Mexico. Journal of Service Science and Management, 8, 382-392. Retrieved from March 27th, 2020.

Ghatari, A. R., Shamsi, Z., & Vedadi, A. (2014). Business process reengineering in the public sector: ranking the implementation barriers. Int. J. Process Management and Benchmarking, X(XX).

Goksoy, A., Ozsoy, B., & Vayvay, O. (2012). Business process reengineering: strategic tool for managing organizational change an application in a multinational company, International Journal of Business and Management, 7(2), 89–112.

Grant, D. (2002). A wider view of business process reengineering. Communications of the ACM, 45(2), 84-92.

Gull, R. (2017). Scientific Management; Concept, Principles, And Relevance. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention, 6(11), 68-70.

Habib, N. M. (2013). Understanding Critical Success and Failure Factors of Business Process Reengineering. International Review of Management and Business Research, 2, 1-10.

Harbour, J. L. (1995) Manual de Trabajo de Reingeniería de Procesos. Panorama, México, D.F.

Harney, B. (2016). ‘Contingency theory’ in Johnstone, S. and Wilkinson, A. (2016). An Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 72-73.

Hussein, B., Hammoud, M., Bazzi, H., & Haj-Ali, A. (2014). PRISM-Process reengineering integrated spiral model: An agile approach to business process reengineering (PR). International Journal of Business and Management, 9(10), 134-142.

Institute of Industrial Engineers (1995) Más allá de la Reingeniería. CECSA, México, D.F.

Islam, J., & Hu, H. (2012). A review of literature on contingency theory in managerial accounting. African Journal of Business Management, 6(15), 5159-5164.

Jain, P., Asrani, P., & Jain, T. (2018). Resistance to Change in an Organization. Journal of Business and Management, 20(5), 37-43.

Johnson, A. (2011). Role of IT in PR. Slide share. 7. Retrieved from on April 10th, 2020.

Joia, A. (2004). Developing Government-to-Government enterprises in Brazil: a heuristic model from multiple case studies, Internet Journal of Inform Management, 24, 147-166.

Kassahun, M. E. (2012). The effect of business process reengineering on public sector organization performance (a developing economy context). A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy School of Business Information Technology and Logistics Business College RMIT University July 2012.

Kassel, D. S. (2010). Managing public sector projects: a strategic framework for success in an era of downsized government. Taylor & Francis.

Khan, A. R., & Khandaker, S. (2016). Public and private organizations: how different or similar are they. Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences, 12, 2873-2885.

Köybaşi, F., Uğurlu, C. T., & Bakir, A. A. (2017). The Factors that Influence Bureaucracy and Professionalism in Schools: A Grounded Theory Study. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(8), 196 - 207

Kumar, R. (2016). Bureaucratic Theory by Max Weber – A Review Study. Journal of Advances and Scholarly Researches in Allied Education, XII(23), 212-216

Lai, C., & Lin, S. H. (2017). Systems theory. The International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication. Craig R. Scott and Laurie Lewis (Eds). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Lilian, O. O., Uzochukwu, O. C., & Francisca, O. N. (2015). Business process reengineering and organizational performance of selected automobile firms in southeast of Nigeria. European Journal of Business, Economics and Accountancy, 3(5).

Lucas, T. (2016). The application of business process re-engineering systems to enhance service delivery in the public sector. European Journal of Research in Social Sciences, 4(7), 13

MacIntosh, R. (2003). PR: alive and well in the public sector. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 23, 327–345.

Manganelli, R. L., & Klein, M. M. (1995) Cómo hacer Reingeniería. Norma, Bogotá.

Martin, R. L., & Montagna, J. M. (2006). In TFTP International Federation for Information Processing, Volume 214, The Past and Future of transformation Systems: 1976-2006 and Beyond, eds. Avison, D., Elliot, S., Krogstie, J., Pries-Heje, J., (Boston; Springer), 77-88.

Mathew, G., Sulphey, M. M. & Rajasekar, S. (2015). Scope of Business Process Reengineering in Public Sector Undertakings. Asian Social Science, 11(26), 129.

Maull, R, Tranfield, D., & Maull, W. (2003). Factors characterising the maturity of PR programmes. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 23, 596–624.

Mekonnen, N. (2019). Implementing business process reengineering (PR) in government organization. Int. J. Adv. Res., 7(8), 109-120.

Morabito, V. (2013). Organizational absorptive capacity and the use of information. In Business Technology Organization, 129-142. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Mori, G. T. (2017). Examining Hindrance of Bureaucracy on Management Innovation for Organizations. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7(4), 601-607.

Motwani, J., Subramanian, R., & Gopalakrishna, P. (2005). Critical factors for successful ERP implementation: exploratory findings from four case studies. Computers in Industry, 56, 529-44.

Nchuchuwe, F. F., & Etim, E. (2020). Human capital development and service delivery in Lagos State: A study of selected ministries. Asian Journal of Advanced Research and Reports, 12(2), 10-19.

Oberoi, R. (2013). Applying Business Process Re-Engineering to Public Sector as A New Public Management Strategy. Journal of Government and Politics, 4(2), 292-304.

Omoluabi, E. T. (2016). Contingency approach in Nigeria management system. Information and Knowledge Management, 6(7), 1-7

Prakken, B. (2000). Information, organization and information systems design: an integrated approach to information problems. Springer Science & Business Media, 186.

Rezaie, S. (2018). Why our public sector organizations need Business Process Re-engineering? Retrieved from on April 15th, 2020

Ruedena, C., Alamib, S., Kaplanc, H., & Gurvenb, M. (2018). Sex differences in political leadership in an egalitarian society. Evolution and Human Behavior, 39(4), 402-411.

Samier, E. A. (2012). Bureaucratic Theory Myths, Theories, Models, Critiques. The Handbook of Educational Theories. Information Age Publishing, Inc., 901–907.

Scholl, H. J. (2003). E-government: a special case of ICT-enabled business process change. 36th Hawaiian International Conference on System Sciences, Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii.

Scott, W. R. (1981). Organizations: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall Inc.

Serpa, S., & Ferreira, C. M. (2019). The Concept of Bureaucracy by Max Weber. International Journal of Social Science Studies, 7(2), 12-18.

Shaikh, I. A., Islam, A., & Jatoi, B. A. (2018). Bureaucracy: Max Weber’s Concept and Its Application to Pakistan. International Relations and Diplomacy, 6(4), 251-262.

Sia, S., & Neo, B. (2008), Business process reengineering, empowerment and work monitoring. Business Process Management Journal, 14, 609–628.

Simasiku, P. L., & Ngoma, J. (2018). Business process reengineering. Is Zambia’s manufacturing industries aware of the benefits that this strategy brings?. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 9(2), 1-5.

Stemberger, M. I., Kovacic, A., & Jaklic, J. (2007). A Methodology for Increasing Business Process Maturity in Public Sector. In Kathy Lynch (ed.). Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, 2, 119-133.

Sudhakar, G. P. (2010). The Role of IT in Business Process Reengineering. ECONOMICA. P. 33. Retrieved from on April 23rd, 2020.

Sujová, E., & Čierna, H. (2018). Optimization and improvement of test processes on a production line. Management Systems in Production Engineering, 26, 88-92.

Surbhi, S. (2018). Difference between public sector and private sector. Retrieved from on March 28th, 2020

Syaifullah, M. (2017). The influence of top management commitment and organizational culture on implementation of management accounting information system a study at people's credit banks (bpr) in Pontianak City, Indonesia. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 5(12), 460-482.

Terziovski, M., Fitzpatrick, P., & O’Neill, P. (2003). Successful predictors of business process reengineering (PR) in financial services. International Journal of Production Economics, 84, 35–50.

Tzempelikos, N. (2015). Top management commitment and involvement and their link to key account management effectiveness. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 30(1), 32-44.

Uddina, N., & Hossain, F. (2015). Evolution of modern management through Taylorism: An adjustment of Scientific Management comprising behavioral science. The 2015 International Conference on Soft Computing and Software Engineering. Procedia Computer Science, 62, 578 – 584.

Vakola, M., & Rezgui, Y. (2000). Critique of existing business process re-engineering methodologies – the development and implementation of a new methodology. Business Process Management Journal, 6(3), 238-50.

Venkatraman, N. (1994). IT-Enabled business transformation: from automation to business scope redefinition. Sloan management review, 35(2), 73-87.

Virzi, K. (2019). Examining the Success and Failure Factors of Business Process Reengineering in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America: A Literature Review. Open Access Library Journal, 6: e5722.

Vrček, N., Brumec, J., & Ibrahimpašić, D. (2009). Measuring effects of business process engineering in public sector-a case study. IADIS International Conference Information Systems. 121-127

Wimmer, W. (2002). A European perspective towards online one-stop government. the eGOV project Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 1, 92-103.

Wu, I. L. (2002). A model for implementing PR based on strategic perspectives: an empirical study. Information & Management, 39(4), 313-324.

Yazaki, Y. (2016). The effects of bureaucracy on political accountability and electoral selection (July 1, 2016).


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104

Copyright © Macrothink Institute

'Macrothink Institute' is a trademark of Macrothink Institute, Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.