The Center for Process Innovation (CEPRIN) is a college-level research unit within J. Mack Robinson College of Business. CEPRIN was founded in January 2004 in collaboration between the College and the Georgia Research Alliance.

CEPRIN focuses on “end-to-end business process innovation”. Our preferred modus operandi for research is to collaborate closely with industry partners on research projects of mutual interest, engaging a multi-disciplinary group of researchers (faculty and Ph.D. students) in these projects.

CEPRIN’s research embraces the following areas:

  • Efficient and responsive satisfaction of an end-consumers’ need for a good or service through the study and improvement of the physical and informational flows and the processes they connect with.
  • Transitions across organizational boundaries of such flows and the multiplicity of issues this creates in terms of information sharing, benefit distribution, legal impediments, trust, risk management, and mutual cooperation.
  • Achieving visibility over the entire process and for effective means to measure and improve its flows.
  • Rapidly reconfigure and amend networks to more quickly respond to changes in market needs and economic opportunities.
  • Development and implementation of information services and infrastructures that support transactions and networking across organizational boundaries.

Views on Process Innovation

While the principle faculty share this common vision, each has their own particular view on the area of process innovation. Below are the three viewpoints:

Process Innovation is an interesting inter-disciplinary area of contemporary business with great opportunities for engaged scholarship. Innovating processes requires the ability to combine knowledge across areas like innovation, IT, business processes, services, and organizational change. I enjoy working in this space because it affords me interesting interactions with practitioners across industries and it provides a solid foundation for developing high quality contributions to theory.

 

Process innovation is about redefining how firms organize inter-firm transactions, govern inter-firm relationships, and reconfigure internal and external resources to sense and respond to market opportunities with agility. A rich milieu of IT innovations is creating radically new possibilities for how inter-firm transactions are executed and governed, firm boundaries are constructed and spanned, partner networks are architected and dissolved, and service offerings are modularized and bundled. These possibilities are challenging how firms discover opportunities, generate innovations, hedge risks, manage customer and supplier relationships, orchestrate production and distribution, and capture value. Understanding and realizing the potential of IT innovations for a firm’s processes to create and appropriate value requires studies that fuse perspectives from academia and practice, and bridge perspectives across disciplines.

 

In a word “servipreneurship.” Of course, this word doesn’t exist in normal usage (yet), but for me it captures the essential elements. Namely, all services, under the covers, are (business) processes. Services exist to provide a solution to its client to solve some or all of a problem they have. Innovation is the result of considering the prospective clients problem-to-be-solved, then defining a service that does this much better. And just as form follows function, process follows service. Each service is, in my view, a mini-business whose execution is by a business process. In that vein, innovating a process is, equivalently, offering a new or better solution to the service client, and those who do it are “servipreneurs.” I also believe in the IT-enablement of business processes using BPMS, BRMS and CEP to both reduce issues of change management while at the same time enhancing service/process agility.