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Process Reengineering in African Public Sector: Lessons From the Private Sector

Jacob Olufemi Fatile, Mutereko Sybert, Emma Etim
Journal of Public Administration and Governance , Volume 10, pp 262-287; doi:10.5296/jpag.v10i3.17688

Abstract: Process reengineering (PR) is a newly introduced approach to process management; it pays close attention to all the processes that are related to the achievement of organizational objectives. Although originally developed for and applied in the private sector, PR is expected to constitute a handy tool for the transformation of work processes in public sector organizations (PSOs), especially in this era of information and communications technology. This paper x-rays PR in African public sector organizations (APSOs) with an emphasis on lessons to be learnt from the private sector. This paper adopts a descriptive approach, to validate and modify extant theoretical models that are relevant in explaining PR in APSOs. The paper observes that APSOs, unlike the private sector organizations (PrSOs), PSOs have failed in the adoption of PR as well as carrying out logically related tasks in such a way that well-defined results are achieved. It reveals further that poor PR in APSOs has been a clog in the wheel of achieving high performance, efficient service delivery, public satisfaction, efficient management of resources, and sustainable development in Africa. This paper concludes that APSOs can fully adopt PR if they cut down on excessive bureaucracy and learn more from the private sector in terms of readiness and adaptability to environmental changes and transformation as advocated by the contingency theory (CT). The paper recommends, amongst others, that there should be the availability of information technology (IT) infrastructure and the willingness on the part of government representatives to deploy new technologies through adequate support for information technology companies and the prioritization of IT application's needs for high system automation. Managers of APSOs should be given the power to effect changes when the need arises, without any form of influence. Also, there should be concerns about the future of PSOs, and citizens who are clients thereof should be held in high esteem and not to be treated as ‘people in need of favour’. Finally, APSOs should embrace radical changes associated with PR especially by ensuring that promotions are based on merit and not on seniority alone.
Keywords: models / Africa / public / adaptability / Private sector / Sector Organizations / APSOS

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