Implementing green business processes : the importance of functional affordances of information systems

Seidel, Stefan & Recker, Jan C. (2012) Implementing green business processes : the importance of functional affordances of information systems. In Lamp, John (Ed.) Proceedings of the 23rd Australasian Conference on Information Systems 2012, Deakin University, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, pp. 1-10.

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An environmentally sustainable and thus green business process is one that delivers organizational value whilst also exerting a minimal impact on the natural environment. Recent works from the field of Information Systems (IS) have argued that information systems can contribute to the design and implementation of sustainable business processes. While prior research has investigated how information systems can be used in order to support sustainable business practices, there is still a void as to the actual changes that business processes have to undergo in order to become environmentally sustainable, and the specific role that information systems play in enabling this change. In this paper, we provide a conceptualization of environmentally sustainable business processes, and discuss the role of functional affordances of information systems in enabling both incremental and radical changes in order to make processes environmentally sustainable. Our conceptualization is based on (a) a fundamental definition of the concept of environmental sustainability, grounded in two basic components:the environmental source and sink functions of any project or activity, and (b) the concept of functional affordances, which describe the potential uses originating in the material properties of information systems in relation to their use context. In order to illustrate the application of our framework and provide a first evaluation, we analyse two examples from prior research where information systems impacted on the sustainability of business processes.

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ID Code: 59307
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Green IS, functional affordances, business process management, sustainability, IT-enabled transformation
ISBN: 9781741561722
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > OTHER INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (089900) > Information and Computing Sciences not elsewhere classified (089999)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Information Systems
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012, The Authors/ACIS
Deposited On: 23 Apr 2013 22:17
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2013 22:52

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