Enterprise Systems, Control and Drift

Enterprise Systems, Control and Drift

Ioannis Ignatiadis (University of Bath, UK) and Joe Nandhakumar (University of Warwick, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-146-9.ch016
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Enterprise Systems are widespread in current organizations and seen as integrating organizational procedures across functional divisions. An Enterprise System, once installed, seems to enable or constrain certain actions by 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 chapter, 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 information in the system, this chapter argues 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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Implementation of an Enterprise System (also known as Enterprise Resource Planning-ERP System) in an organization may have profound impact on organizational processes (Boudreau & Robey, 1999; Koch, 2001; Martin & Cheung, 2000; Schrnederjans & Kim, 2003; Siriginidi, 2000), as well as on information flow and transparency (Bernroider & Koch, 1999; Besson & Rowe, 2001; Gattiker & Goodhue, 2004; Legare, 2002; Markus & Tanis, 2000; Newell et al., 2003; Shang & Seddon, 2000). Much of the research in Enterprise Systems however, is concerned with the implementation process and providing insights into success factors of Enterprise Systems implementation (e.g. Akkermans & van Helden, 2002; Al-Mashari & Al-Mudimigh, 2003; Bingi et al., 1999; Holland & Light, 1999; Hong & Kim, 2002; Nah et al., 2001; Shanks et al., 2000; Somers & Nelson, 2001). Only a few studies investigate issues relating to the post implementation of ES (e.g. Elmes et al., 2005). Hence we have limited understanding of issues affecting the use of Enterprise Systems in organizations and their potential for organizational impact.

This chapter therefore concentrates on the actual use of an Enterprise System, post-implementation. It examines the impact of actions performed by humans (users), or a machine (the Enterprise System), on control and drift within an organization. We propose a theoretical conceptualisation to describe the impact of those actions by drawing on a field study of five companies that have an Enterprise Resource Planning System installed. The significance of this research is twofold. First, our conceptualisation developed in this chapter enhances the understanding of the processes that result in organizational control (or drift) through the use of an Enterprise System. Second, our results also pinpoint issues of practical interest to companies that are using (or thinking of installing) an Enterprise System.

Although ERP systems were originally designed to be used within an organization, in the last years they have evolved considerably to include or link with external functionalities such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and e-business (B2B and B2C). The current trend is also to repackage ERP systems as a collection of interoperable modules with standards-based interfaces, in accordance with the mandates of Service-Oriented Architectures. The examination of ERP systems in this chapter however only looked at internal operations, and the use of such systems referred only to internal actors, without examining external linkages, which was beyond the purposes of this research.

The rest of the chapter is structured as follows: in the following section, we review the relevant literature on Information Systems, control and drift, as well as human agency, which are topics central to our research. We then present our theoretical foundations, in which we frame our analysis and discussion. Our research approach is then outlined, followed by a description of the companies that participated in this research. We follow this with an analysis of the data gathered from the companies, across the dimensions of control and drift. We then discuss our findings and present our conceptualisation of Enterprise System use, and conclude with some theoretical and practical implications of our research.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Angappa Gunasekaran
Chapter 1
Emad M. Kamhawi
Responding to the need for a better understanding of the factors that explain ERP systems implementation success, this chapter used a field study to... Sample PDF
Examining the Factors Affecting Project and Business Success of ERP Implementation
Chapter 2
Ronald E. McGaughey, Angappa Gunasekaran
Business needs have driven the design, development, and use of the enterprise-wide information systems we call Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)... Sample PDF
Evolution of Enterprise Resource Planning
Chapter 3
Purnendu Mandal, Mohan P. Rao
The build-up of export-oriented companies since 1990s on the Mexico-USA boarder, and their recent decline, is no surprise to many policy analysts.... Sample PDF
Information Technology Usage in Maquila Enterprises
Chapter 4
Henk Jonkers, Maria-Eugenia Iacob
In this chapter the authors address the integration of functional models with non-functional models in the context of service-oriented... Sample PDF
Performance and Cost Analysis of Service-Oriented Enterprise Architectures
Chapter 5
S. Parthasarathy
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is an integrated software system reflecting the business processes of an enterprise. Enterprise Resource... Sample PDF
Significance of Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Nominal Group Technique (NGT) in ERP Implementation
Chapter 6
Manuel Kolp, Yves Wautelet, Stéphane Faulkner
Organizational Modeling is concerned with analyzing and understanding the organizational context within which a software system will eventually... Sample PDF
Specifying Software Models with Organizational Styles
Chapter 7
Piotr Soja
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been implemented in various and diverse organizations. The size of companies, their industry, the... Sample PDF
Towards Identifying the Most Important Attributes of ERP Implementations
Chapter 8
Shuchih Ernest Chang
Other than providing Web services through popular Web browser interfaces, pervasive computing may offer new ways of accessing Internet applications... Sample PDF
A Voice-Enabled Pervasive Web System with Self-Optimization Capability for Supporting Enterprise Applications
Chapter 9
Hafid Agourram
Research has showed that social and socio-technical concepts are influenced by culture. The objective of this chapter is to explore how the... Sample PDF
The Impact of Culture on the Perception of Information System Success
Chapter 10
John Krogstie, Csaba Veres, Guttorm Sindre
Much of the early focus in the area of Semantic Web has been on the development of representation languages for static conceptual information; while... Sample PDF
Achieving System and Business Interoperability by Semantic Web Services
Chapter 11
Chen-Yang Cheng
The success of implementing Enterprise Information System (EIS) depends on exploring and improving the EIS software, and EIS software training.... Sample PDF
Integrated Research and Training in Enterprise Information Systems
Chapter 12
Lea Kutvonen
Participation in electronic business networks has become necessary for the success of enterprises. The strategic business needs for participating in... Sample PDF
Service-Oriented Middleware for Managing Inter-Enterprise Collaborations
Chapter 13
Joseph Bradley, C. Christopher Lee
Training is still a neglected part of most ERP implementation projects. This case study investigates the relation between training satisfaction and... Sample PDF
Training and User Acceptance in a University ERP Implementation: Applying the Technology Acceptance Model
Chapter 14
Diego Milano
Data quality is a complex concept defined by various dimensions such as accuracy, currency, completeness, and consistency (Wang & Strong, 1996).... Sample PDF
Measuring and Diffusing Data Quality in a Peer-to-Peer Architecture
Chapter 15
Vipul Jain
The key part of dynamic supply chain management is negotiating with suppliers and with buyers. Designing efficient business processes throughout the... Sample PDF
Modeling Buyer-Supplier Relationships in Dynamic Supply Chains
Chapter 16
Ioannis Ignatiadis, Joe Nandhakumar
Enterprise Systems are widespread in current organizations and seen as integrating organizational procedures across functional divisions. An... Sample PDF
Enterprise Systems, Control and Drift
About the Contributors