1996 Herkness Abstract

Orchestrating programs of organizational transformation that result in sustained process improvement represents a difficult managerial challenge. Yet, ever-changing customer requirements, electronic partnerships, and increasingly complex intraorganizational arrangements are forcing many well-established firms to transform themselves from function-based forms of organization into process-based systems of managerial, task, and evaluative arrangements. Through a program of managed transformation, the Information Services (IS) function at Bose Corporation has realized dramatic improvements in the delivery of information products/services and is now "charting the course" for a sustained process management view that will define and measure business relationships well into the next century. In contrast to many well-publicized programs of change, the drive toward sustained process improvement and innovation by Bose IS resembles an evolutionary model of organizational learning and information sharing rather than a revolutionary model of immediate and drastic transformation. This study describes the defining stages, key events, and obstacles of the road traveled by Bose IS in transforming itself from a corporate utility into an enterprise-wide source of process innovation and improvement.