Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), Vol 4, No 4 (2012)

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On the importance of agile communication skills in BPM education: Design principles for international seminars

Katrin Bergener, Jan vom Brocke, Sara Hofmann, Armin Stein, Christina vom Brocke

Abstract


Business Process Management (BPM) has evolved as an integrated management discipline that aims to enable organizations to continuously innovate and improve their operations. BPM experts are exposed to communication processes involving people from various backgrounds (e.g., various business areas, fields of expertise, and cultures). Research in applied linguistics has shown that it is difficult to plan for constellations of such communication processes; thus, agile communication skills are vital for successful business communication. Teaching programs for BPM, however, do not account for these skills. Rather, they mainly address methods for the analysis, implementation, and management of business processes. As a result, graduates—though they may be technically and methodologically apt—face unexpected challenges due to communication deficiencies in BPM projects. BPM research has shown that deficiencies in communication are in fact among the most frequent reasons for project failure. In this paper, we present a course setting to teach agile communication skills in BPM education. The approach is informed by literature on BPM education as well as theories from virtual collaboration education. We have evaluated it in an international virtual seminar involving seven European universities. We argue for the importance of agile communication skills in BPM education. In addition, we present design principles for courses to teach agile communication skills that can be applied by fellow academics.

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Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL)
ISSN 2073-7904

 

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Laboratory for Knowledge Management & E-Learning

Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong