Business Process Management and Digital Innovation

Business Process Management combines knowledge from information technology and management science to create methods, techniques, and tools to support the design, enactment, management, and analysis of operational business processes (van der Aalst, 2013; vom Brocke & Rosemann, 2014; vom Brocke & Rosemann, 2015).

One traditional focus of BPM research has always been the role of information technology in enacting, managing and innovating business processes. This focus has led to the rise of workflow management systems, BPM suites, process mining technology and other key technological innovations.

This special issue will explore how digital technology and innovation enables, constrains, transforms or otherwise upends the design, enactment, management, and analysis of operational business processes. We will also look at how technology, techniques and theory from the management of business processes can assist an understanding of innovation and change processes. Recent innovations in Process Organization Studies (Langley and Tsoukas, 2017) and Routine Dynamics (Feldman et al, 2016) also provide a rich set of ideas for theorizing processual phenomena from the ground up.

The timing of this special is motivated by the on-going infusion of new digital technologies – mobile and distributed computing, social media, digital platforms, data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchains, cloud computing, and so forth – into various aspects of business processes. These innovations generate new possibilities and increase uncertainty for how business processes operate, how they should be managed, and how process innovations unfold (vom Brocke & Schmiedel, 2015; vom Brocke & Mendling, 2018).

With this special issue, our aim is to highlight the need to further our understanding about the dialectic between business process management and digital innovation: how is business process management affected by, and affects, digital innovation? 

What can I contribute?

We envisage (but in no way limit) attention to at least four broad themes:

  • The nature of business process management in the digital age:how do digital innovations transform business process management methods, tools, systems, architectures, skill set, capabilities, organizational culture? What does process management look like in world of constant change?
  • New digitally enabled management and innovation forms for business processes:how does digitalization affect business processes on an individual, process, organization or ecosystem level? What are new types of processes and new ways of designing, operating, monitoring, inventing and potentially emerging processes?
  • Methodological and empirical opportunities of studying business processes in the digital age: what affordances does the digital age provide for collecting, analyzing and theorizing about and with process trace data? What are opportunities to further our understanding of routines and artefacts, temporality and sequence?
  • Digital technologies, platforms and ecosystems for business process management:How do digital technologies change certainty, boundaries, relationality or specificity of business processes? What are relationships of digital objects in business processes to time, cost, quality, process standardization, flexibility, creativity, variability, adaptability, structuredness, knowledge-intensity and other well-known notions?

Why contribute to the European Journal of Information Systems?

  • Your article will be published in a widely read and cited journal, which has a 2016 impact factor of 819enabling you to effectively contribute to the development of the research area
  • We’re an official journal of the Operational Research Society meaning all our members we be able to access and read your research.
  • Your research will be validated by a robust single-blind peer review process
  • You can share you research using our open access options
  • You can follow the impact of your research using My Authored Works

Important dates

  • Initial Submission of full papers: 01 Oct 2018
  • First round reviews sent to authors: 10 Jan 2019
  • Revised papers due from authors: 31 Mar 2019
  • Second round reviews sent to authors: 30 Jun 2019
  • Final revision due from authors: 31 Aug 2019
  • Publication of special issue: End 2019

Submission instructions

This special issue is associated with the Management Track of the 16th International Conference on Business Process Management (BPM 2018). Authors interested to submit to the special issue are invited to submit a first version of their papers to this track of the BPM conference. Submission and participation at BPM 2018 is voluntary. However, participation will provide the opportunity to obtain initial reviews, meet the editors, and discuss the potential submission in person. All related information on the website of the BPM Conference 2018 Management Track

Submissions must be made via the EJIS submission system at Please indicate that you are submitting to the special issue. The EJIS instructions for authors apply.

Further inquiries

Authors are encouraged to discuss potential submissions with the guest editors. Please contact the guest editors at

Click here to submit to our special issue on Business Process Management and Digitial Innovation