Styles in business process modeling: an exploration and a model

Jakob Pinggera, Pnina Soffer, Dirk Fahland, Matthias Weidlich, Stefan Zugal, Barbara Weber, Hajo A. Reijers, Jan Mendling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Business process models are an important means to design, analyze, implement, and control business processes. As with every type of conceptual model, a business process model has to meet certain syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic quality requirements to be of value. For many years, such quality aspects were investigated by centering on the properties of the model artifact itself. Only recently, the process of model creation is considered as a factor that influences the resulting model’s quality. Our work contributes to this stream of research and presents an explorative analysis of the process of process modeling (PPM). We report on two large-scale modeling sessions involving 115 students. In these sessions, the act of model creation, i.e., the PPM, was automatically recorded. We conducted a cluster analysis on this data and identified three distinct styles of modeling. Further, we investigated how both task- and modeler-specific factors influence particular aspects of those modeling styles. Based thereupon, we propose a model that captures our insights. It lays the foundations for future research that may unveil how high-quality process models can be established through better modeling support and modeling instruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1080
Number of pages26
JournalSoftware and Systems Modeling
Issue number3
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P23699-N23. The stay of Dr. Pnina Soffer in Innsbruck, Austria was funded by BIT School.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013, The Author(s).


  • Business process modeling
  • Cluster analysis
  • Modeling styles
  • Process of process modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation


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  • Modeling styles in business process modeling

    Pinggera, J., Soffer, P., Zugal, S., Weber, B., Weidlich, M., Fahland, D., Reijers, H. A. & Mendling, J., 2012, Enterprise, Business-Process and Information Systems Modeling - 13th International Conference, BPMDS 2012, 17th International Conference, EMMSAD 2012 and 5th EuroSymposium, Held at CAiSE 2012, Proc.. Springer Verlag, p. 151-166 16 p. (Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing; vol. 113 LNBIP).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

    Open Access

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