A method and a system for providing resource management in workflow processing of an enterprise include a multi-level resource manager hierarchy. An upper level includes at least one resource manager having data that represents an enterprise-wide view of resource capabilities. A subordinate second level of resource managers provides partial views of the resource capabilities of the enterprise. These partial views may be based upon organizational or physical boundaries. At a lowermost level of resource managers are local resource managers (LRMs) that include data to track individual resources. Above this lowermost level, the resource managers in the hierarchy track the resources based upon types of resources. Thus, a second level resource manager is configured to be aware of availability of a resource type, but not the availability of an individual resource. Also above the lowermost level, the resource managers are configured to exchange requests for the resources using a number of different messages. A Plead message is used to send a request to a higher level manager. On the other hand, a Delegate message is used to send a request to a lower level manager. A Refer message allows a request to be sent horizontally. Report messages are sent among resource managers to allow updates of cache entries regarding capabilities of other resource managers.