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Peer-Review Record

Organisational Culture as a Determinant of Business Process Management in the Community Offices in Poland

Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9040096
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9040096
Received: 14 November 2019 / Revised: 6 December 2019 / Accepted: 13 December 2019 / Published: 17 December 2019

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Paper Title: Organisational culture as a determinant of business process management in the community offices in Poland

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

BRIEF SUMMARY

The authors identify a set of factors that determine the applicability of Business Process Management in public organisations. These factors serve then as a basis for a questionnaire that was sent to community offices in one of the regions in Poland. As the final step, the provided answers were analysed and discussed by the authors.

BROAD COMMENTS.

The paper is well-structured, clear to the reader and provides a good theoretical background of the analysed problem. A very strong part of the paper are its final sections, namely Discussion and Conclusions. However, an improvement of the quality of presentation, as well as the explanation of some assumptions would be appreciated.

SPECIFIC COMMENTS

Section 2:

 - L. 67 – The term “BMP” should be corrected to “BPM”.

- L. 118 – The authors write “Business Process Reengineering” in capital letters, while Business Process Management is always written in lowercase. I suggest that the authors choose one of the rules for mentioning such terms and follow it in the whole paper.

Section 3:

- L. 142 – I suggest listing the factors in an enumerated list or in a table.

- L. 151 – What was the idea behind choosing only one person (or a person appointed by them) to fill the questionnaire? Did the authors take into account the risk that the results could be based on one point of view only?

- L. 161 (and note 4) – The extension of the results to the full population of Poland is disputable. Despite the common administrative system, the demographical and cultural conditions are different among voivodships. The Warmia-Mazury region can be considered specific, due to its historical origin and a relatively low population density compared to other Polish voivodships.

Section 4:

- L. 202 – Table 2 – “given answers s” – please correct the typo.

- L. 203 – To improve the readability, the authors may consider referencing the list in Section 3 instead of repeating all factors under Table 2. 

- L. 231 – I suggest summarizing these results in a table as well. The authors may consider colouring cells to improve the clarity of the results.

- L. 263 – The authors should rethink if it is necessary to mention differences in the Figure if there are no any of them.

- L. 271 – What do the authors mean by “a chosen type of the community offices”?

Section 5

- L. 280 – The discussion is missing a statement if in any of the questioned offices, there actually exists a process approach and to what extent it is used. It would be good to see how the analysed community offices in Poland look with respect to the process maturity model.

Author Response

First of all, we would like to thank the Reviewer for a very insightful and precise review. All of the Reviewer's suggestions have helped us to refine and thus- make a better presentation of our article.

The Reviewer also wrote that:

- "What was the idea behind choosing only one person (or a person appointed by them) to fill the questionnare?

In the study we asked for two people from each office to complete the questionnaire (i.e. the secretary and the person appointed by the secretary). In this way, we wanted to reduce the risk indicated by the Reviewer, i.e. distorting the results by relying on the opinion of only one person.

- "The extension of the results to the full population of Poland is disputable".

When indicating the possibility of extending the conclusions from the research to other Polish voivodships, we were guided, among others, by the results of some national surveys (in which the subjective scope of research covered offices operating in various regions of Poland) - e.g. K. Krukowski's research conducted in all the city offices in Poland. They show, among others, that the features of organisational culture occurring in these entities are common to all city offices in Poland and, thus, independent from the region in what they function.

- "The authors should rethink if it is necessary to mention defferneces in the Figure if there are no any of them".                                                                                                           

We believe that the figure may constitute a better presentation of the obtained result, i.e. no statement of existence of differences between the examined types of offices, concerning the occurance of features of the organinisational culture. Of course, if the Reviewer insists on deleting the figure, we will make the correction.

- "What do the authors mean by "a chosen type of the community offices"?

By the term "chosen type of the community office" we mean if it is an office of a specific type (rural, urban-rural or urban).

- "The discussion in missing a statetement if in any of the questioned offices, there actually exists a process approach and to what extent it is used".

Thank you very much for this remark. The relationship between the level of process maturity and features of organizational culture, that could be considered specific for individual levels of process maturity, were not the subject of the research. Nevertheless, they could be a very interesting direction for further research, which was added to the article.

 

 

Reviewer 2 Report

Review Report

According to authors, “… the aim of the study presented in the article was to identify factors from the organisational culture area, which occur in the community offices in Poland”, and that “were assessed in the context of their significance in the introduction and development of BPM in the examined entities.”

I firmly believe that there is a real need to conduct researches focusing on the influence of organizational culture on the introduction and development of BPM, especially in the public context. As highlighted by authors, “Specific features (elements) of organisational culture that have the potential of stimulating the successful implementation of the process approach in public organisations are still poorly recognised in the literature.”

Yet, unfortunately, I don’t think that the paper rises to the standards expected by the Administrative Sciences journal. While the topic approached could be interesting for readers, unfortunately, I have several concerns and questions that, as a reviewer I would like to bring up:

First of all, my opinion is that the paper brings very few results and the analysis also allows very few insights, which in my opinion represents a strong shortcoming of the paper. Nevertheless, I think that authors could compensate for this weakness, through providing a stronger theoretical framework (through an extensive and comprehensive literature review), as well as a stronger discussion section. The Introduction section needs to be improved, through highlighting better the gaps in literature, and how the research contributes to theory and practice. Indeed, it is not enough to refer that “specific features (elements) of organisational culture that have the potential of stimulating the successful implementation of the process approach in public organisations are still poorly recognised in the literature“. Moreover, authors need to better enlighten readers about why Poland, why Public Services? Authors also may explain briefly the organization of the paper. Over the last decades, the public administration has experienced a fast expansion, undergoing a process of deep transformations concerning scale, scope, transparency, effectiveness, and efficiency, looking at alternative organisational models (e.g. less bureaucratic, more efficient, and customers centred). In such a context, the theoretical framework and the discussion section should be improved, through framing the study in the light of the New Public Administration literature, contrasting with more traditional public administration approaches. Authors should consider improving their theoretical framework and discussion section, citing more recent references, from relevant journals approaching public administration issues. Only 10% of references were published during the last 5 years. In the methodology section, authors refer that “The part of the questionnaire devoted to organizational culture listed 17 factors, which are: C1 - The will to learn and to broaden one’s knowledge, … “. Authors must explain were these 17 factors came from. Why did Authors used these measurable factors, and not others? What literature sustains these options? Authors also refer that “These factors were evaluated on a five-point Likert scale, described numerically and verbally”. Authors need to explain what “numerically and verbally” means. Moreover, authors must clarify the range involved in the five-point Likert scale. When self-report questionnaires are used to collect data, common method bias (CMB) may be a concern. I would like to see in this paper how authors addressed this issue. The work of Chang et al. (2010), Podsakoff (2003), Dillman's (2000) and the NRC (2013) might help. Authors should also consider the use of the Harman's (1967) single factor test to examine the likelihood of common method bias threat. Finally, authors must refer in their paper what software(s) they used in their data analysis, as well as its version.

National Research Council. (2013). Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda. Available at http://www.nap.edu/read/18293/chapter/1#ii.

Podsakoff, P.M.; MacKenzie, S.B.; Lee, J.-Y.; Podsakoff, N.P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies, Journal of Applied Psychology 88 (5), 879-903.

Chang, S-J, Witteloostuijn, A., & Eden, L. (2010). From the Editors: Common method variance in international business research, Journal of International Business Studies, 41(2), 178-184.

 Dillman, D.A. (2000). Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method (2nd Ed.), New York, NY: Wiley.

Author Response

First of all we would like to thank the Reviewer for a very in-depth and insightful review. We perceive all the Reviewer's suggestions and comments as very valuable and helpful in improving our research skills. We tried to follow the remarks of the Reviewer and, thus, improved the introduction, the theoretical background, the methodology and the research part, as well as the discussion of our manuscript. 

In the introduction part:

1) We broadened the gaps in the literature by adding that „In Poland, the existing studies mostly focus on identifying the cultural profile of public organisations, without indicating their potential in supporting the introduction of process solutions to these entities”. 

2) We enlightened the readers why we chose Poland by saying that: „The use of the process approach in transforming the public administration system in Poland, that has been going on since the 1990s, is not a whim, but a recommendation. The need for this approach is emphasized in various government documents, and is also reflected in many modernisation projects that have been carried out, i.e. System support for management processes in local government units or the Institutional Development Planning. In addition, in Poland, there are ongoing activities aimed at the widest possible introduction of e-services in different public organisations, including the community offices. This process cannot be carried out without introducing at least some of the BPM elements. That is why, according to the authors, it is so important to know the factors that may constitute potential barriers or stimulators of implementing the discussed concept into public organisations in Poland. Identifying these elements would allow public managers to focus on supporting elements conducive to BPM implementation and development, as well as trying to influence the aspects that may obstruct these activities”. 

3) We placed our considerations in the context of NPM and good governance assumptions by adding that: „The introduction of BPM to public organisations is consistent especially with the assumptions of the New Public Management (NPM) concept. One of the doctrinal components of NPM is the establishment of professional management to public organisations, i.e. the transfer of concepts, methods, techniques used in business organizations to public ones, giving freedom of action, but at the same time imposing responsibility on managers (Hood 1991). In addition, the use of the process approach is in line with some of the assumptions of the basic NPM models, especially regarding the setting of service standards and the use of benchmarking solutions, the flattening of organisational structures and the increase in the importance of teamwork, the introduction of a horizontal management structure and the emphasis on radical decentralisation or the introduction of evaluation through achieved results. Currently, the importance of using BPM in public organisations is emphasized, among others, in the case of introducing and developing the e-government concept (Gabryelczyk and Jurczuk 2016; Kasemsap 2019) or regarding the operationalisation of the concept of good governance (Szumowski 2019)”. 

In the theoretical background part we added some other works of authors involved in studying the process culture, also - the process culture of public administration units in Poland. The addition of these items also influenced the discussion part. 

In the methodology section we:

We indicated which publications, among others, were helpful in selecting the 17 factors. We erased the „numerically and verbally” phrase with reference to the Likert scale. We adressed the issue of CMB by explaining that: „Considering common method bias (CMB) the Brewer’s Split Sample Method was used, when constructing the questionnaire (Brewer 2006). This approach was intended to eliminate CMB by using one sample of respondents to evaluate independent variable and the other to measure a dependent variable. In the case of presented research, the independent variable, i.e. the type of community offices, was the administrative data (Podsakoff et al. 2012; Jakobsen and Jensen 2015). Moreover, as it was mentioned before, the questionnaire was addressed to two people (the secretary and the person designated by the secretary) with sufficient specialist knowledge, so that the answers to the questions did not relate to vague concepts (MacKenzie and Podsakoff 2012). Also, the respondents were to assess the present occurrence of factors, which should also reduce the risk of the discussed error. 

As a next step, except form the Cronbach’s alpha test, we conducted also the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin test and the Barlett’s test. And thanks to the Cronbach’s alpha and Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin test results obtained, the reliability of the research tool was confirmed. However, we are aware that the factors selected for the study are correlated with one another. This is due to the fact that they relate to one phenomenon occurring in an organisation. The purpose of the study, however, was not to indicate their relationship but to identify their occurrence and to evaluate them in context of their influence on using BPM in the researched community offices. 

 

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

Authors have addressed most of my concerns in their revision process and thus, although I think that authors could have took the opportunity to extend their theoretical framework and to deepen their discussion section (compensating shortcoming of the paper in terms of the practical contributions), I think that the paper can be suitable to a journal such as the Administrative Sciences journal.

Congratulations.

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