X-engineering: Ex cathedra?

David Collins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper offers a critical analysis of X-engineering - an approach to management, which it is claimed refines and extends business process reengineering (BPR) to offer sustainable benefits to business and to the various communities, which constitute modern business organizations. Noting that academic critiques of guru theorising in general and academic critiques of BPR in particular have done little to exercise the minds of practitioners, the paper offers two critical accounts of X-engineering. The first follows a familiar concern with the production of X-engineering as it seeks to debunk the ideas and concepts, which constitute this body of knowledge. The second offers an alternative account of guru theorising, which focuses upon the nature of managerial work and on the consumption of management knowledge as it attempts to develop a line of critique, which can reflect and yet intrude upon the complexities of managerial work Building upon this analysis of the consumption of guru theorising, the paper seeks to provide counter-arguments and analysis for the constituencies, which can be expected to bear the brunt of X-engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-142+146
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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