Improving and innovating content-intensive processes

back to overview

Type and Duration

PhD-Thesis, March 2011 until August 2014 (finished)


Hilti Chair of Business Process Management

Main Research

Business Process Management

Field of Research

Content Management


Organizations are increasingly challenged to manage growing amounts of unstructured information. Problems that arise for information management concern the search, retrieval, and effective reuse of content across the corporation. Such problems emerge, among others, because processes are not sufficiently aligned with corporate content management.

An IS domain that studies the management of information in organizations is enterprise content management (ECM). ECM "is the strategies, tools, processes, and skills an organization needs to manage its information assets over their lifecycle" (Smith & McKeen, 2003). As such, ECM should be understood as both, an organizational as well as technological approach. However, past research on ECM has mainly addressed the technological side of ECM, neglecting organizational aspects of ECM like improving processes through ECM.

Therefore, this PhD project explores the potentials of organizational ECM initiatives for improving so-called "content-intensive processes". A process improvement framework that addresses three phases, namely analyze, change and monitor, will be used as a guiding structure for the study. The dissertation aims at developing tools and instruments that can guide and facilitate the improvement of content-intensive processes.

Reference to Liechtenstein

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is a contemporary topic for companies from all industries, and various regional companies are currently developing their ECM capabilities. The dissertation involves case studies with several Liechtenstein companies, for example, Hoval and Ivoclar Vivadent.


Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Business Process Management, Content intensive business processes


  • vom Brocke, J., Simons, A., Herbst, A., Derungs, R., & Novotny, S. (2011). The Business Drivers Behind ECM Initiatives: A Process Perspective. Business Process Management Journal, 17(6), 965-985. (ABDC_2022: B; ABS_2021: 2; VHB_3: C)

  • Herbst, A., Simons, A., vom Brocke, J., & Derungs, R. (2014). Critical Success Factors in Enterprise Content Management: Toward a Framework for Readiness Assessment. In J. vom Brocke & A. Simons (Eds.), Enterprise Content Management in Information Systems Research: Foundations, Methods and Cases (pp. 109-124). Heidelberg et al.: Springer.

  • Herbst, A., & vom Brocke, J. (2013). Social Content Management Systems: Challenges and Potential for Organizations. In F. Piazolo & M. Felderer (Eds.), Innovation and Future of Enterprise Information Systems (Vol. 4, pp. 19-28). Heidelberg et al.: Springer.

  • Herbst, A., & vom Brocke, J. (2012). Information seeking strategies in organizational information architecture. In H. Rahman, A. Mesquita, I. Ramos & B. Pernici (Eds.), Knowledge and Technologies in Innovative Information Systems. Proceedings of the 7th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS 2012) (pp. 36-50). Berlin: Springer.

  • Herbst, A., Urbach, N., & vom Brocke, J. (2014). Shedding Light on the Impact Dimension of Information Systems Success: A Synthesis of the Literature. Paper presented at the 47th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS '14), Hawaii, USA. (VHB_3: C)