Process Science: Conceptual foundation for the interdisciplinary study of continuous change

back to overview

Type and Duration

FFF-Förderprojekt, November 2021 until April 2023


Hilti Chair of Business Process Management

Main Research

Business Process Management


Processes are sequences of actions and events, which take effect over time and in context. They guide our every-day activities, and they dynamically change over time. Processes can make an impact on our society and environment. So far, processes have been investigated from the lens of single disciplines, such as computer science, management science, organization science, engi-neering science or cognitive science. We cannot rely on a single discipline if we want to obtain a full picture of processes. We need to bundle and synthesize contributions, theories and methods from multiple disciplines. Process Science shall provide the opportunity to accumulate interdisci-plinary knowledge on processes in order to make a real-world impact. Therefore, Process Science is based on four key principles; it (1) puts processes at the center of attention, (2) investigates processes scientifically, (3) embraces perspectives of multiple disciplines, and (4) aims to create impact by actively shaping the unfolding of processes. The ubiquitous availability of digital trace data, combined with advanced data analytics capabilities, offer new and unprecedented oppor-tunities to study processes through multiple data sources, which makes Process Science very timely (vom Brocke et. al, 2021).

Practical Application

The conceptualization of Process Science offers new great opportunities in research and international collaboration. From a practice point of view, organizations can benefit from the prescriptive knowledge that is generated through this project. Specifically, the definition and conceptualization of the idea can help organizations analyze application areas, make technological choices, and successfully implement Process Science in practice. Moreover, through this project, we intend to connect with regional companies and thus contribute to the network among various regional stakeholders. Digital trace data is everywhere and can be used to improve and handle business processes. Furthermore, we want to establish and shape the role of the "Process Scientist". We think in the future there is a need for experts in this field to improve the business process from multiple perspectives. To cum up, Process Science is inherently pragmatic as it strives to create knowledge that has instrumental value in solving real-word problems. As such, Process Science aims to produce knowledge that can make an impact on people, organizations and society. Process Science embraces processes on various levels and in different contexts, including both naturally evolving and intentionally designed processes, and examines how they interact over time. Insights we gain here shall enable and guide interventions to affect the course of things over time.

Reference to Liechtenstein

1) The conceptualization of Process Science offers new great opportunities in research at a national and international collaboration. In both ways Liechtenstein profits as the origin/birthplace of the new term "Process Science".

2) With that empirical projects in Liechtenstein can be executed and Process Science take an active part in Liechtenstein`s industry.

3) The results will be disseminated via the Competence Center of Business Process Management at the Institute of Information Systems, which organizes regular steering board meetings and workshops with partners from industry, government and society. At each participating organization, such initiatives will help to address the local audience.

4) Due to the high recognition of the project members, we expect that project results will disseminate on regional and national levels. Additionally, the consortium partners will actively reach out to various stakeholders (e.g., via mailings, events, news material).

5) 5) We will translate our findings into teaching materials for students at the University of Liechtenstein.

Principal Investigator