The Impact of Enterprise Systems on Organizational Control and Drift: A Human-Machine Agency Perspective

The Impact of Enterprise Systems on Organizational Control and Drift: A Human-Machine Agency Perspective

Ioannis Ignatiadis (University of Bath, UK) and Joe Nandhakumar (University of Warwick, UK)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jeis.2007070103
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Abstract

Enterprise systems (ES) are widespread in current organizations, and seen as integrating organizational procedures across functional divisions. An enterprise system (also known as enterprise resource planning – ERP system), once installed, seems to enable or constrain certain actions by managers and users, which have an impact on organizational operations. Those actions may result in increased organizational control, or may lead to organizational drift. The processes that give rise to such outcomes are investigated in this paper, which is based on a field study of five companies. By drawing on the theoretical concepts of human and machine agencies, as well as the embedding and disembedding of managerial and user actions in the system, this paper agues that control and drift arising from the use of an enterprise system are outcomes of the processes of embedding and disembedding human actions, which are afforded (enabled or constrained) by the enterprise system.

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