Organizations and Learning Process: Its Antecedents and Consequences in Enterprise System Implementation

Organizations and Learning Process: Its Antecedents and Consequences in Enterprise System Implementation

Weiling Ke (Clarkson University, USA) and Kwok Kee Wei (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-270-1.ch015
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Abstract

This chapter uses organizational learning as a lens to study how firms implement the enterprise system. The core research questions are: What are the critical organizational factors affecting organizational learning in ES implementation? How do these elements shape the learning process and thereby influence ES implementation outcomes? To address these questions, we conducted comparative case study with two organizations that have recently adopted ES and achieved significantly different results. Based on the empirical findings, we propose a framework that describes how organizational factors affect the four constructs of organizational learning in ES implementation context — knowledge acquisition, information distribution, information interpretation and organizational memory.
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Introduction

Over the past few years, Enterprise Systems (ES) have generated much interest among researchers and practitioners as a potential means to enhance organizational agility (Davenport, 1998; Sambamurthy, Bharadwah, & Grover, 2003). While interest and investment in ES have been rising steadily, actual experiences with ES have exhibited more ambiguity. Some studies report improvements in efficiency and effectiveness from ES adoption, yet others find that the expected gains are far beyond reach (Al-Mashari & Zairi, 2000). It is imperative to conduct research that can make sense of the apparently-inconsistent ES adoption results.

Most of extant research on ES focuses on discrete critical success factors leading to on-time and within budget implementation (e.g., Bingi, Sharma, & Godla, 1999; Holland & Light, 1999; Parr & Shanks, 2000; Sumner, 2000). Yet, to leverage the business value of ES, it is not sufficient to simply adopt and install the system. Rather, employees and the organization as a whole must learn how to apply the technology effectively while they are implementing the system (Argyris & Schon, 1978; Attewell, 1992; Cooper & Zmud, 1990; Fichman & Kemerer, 1997; Purvis, Sambamurthy, & Zmud, 2001). The learning process plays a critical role in shaping IT adoption results (Tippins & Sohi, 2003). Hence studying how different forces affect the organizational learning process allows us to understand what leads to different ES implementation outcomes.

In this chapter, we use organizational learning as a lens to study how firms implement ES. Extant ES literature alludes to organizational learning sporadically and most of them do so in a cursory fashion, except the work of Robey, Ross, and Boudreau (2002) and Scott and Vessey (2000). Different from these studies, this chapter studies all four constructs of the underlying learning process involved in ES implementation - knowledge acquisition, information distribution, information interpretation and organizational memory (Huber, 1991). The core research questions are: What are the critical organizational factors affecting organizational learning in ES implementation? How do these elements shape the learning process and thereby influence ES implementation outcomes? To address these questions, we collect data by conducting case studies with two firms that have implemented ES within budget and on-time, but with significant different outcomes.

This chapter makes three principal contributions. First, drawing on the rich data of two organizations’ experiences, the chapter generates an understanding of the organizational learning associated with ES implementation. Second, dealing with the complex links traced in context, this chapter adds substantive content to our understanding of the central role played by organizational factors in the organizational learning enacted in ES implementation. Such an understanding has been absent from the research and practice discourses on ES. Third, the chapter integrates our research findings with the more formal insights available from the IS implementation and organizational learning literature. It facilitates researchers and practitioners to explain, anticipate, and evaluate the organizational learning process associated with the ES adoption. This chapter is organized as follow: First, we briefly describe theoretical background of this study. Second, we discuss our research methodology. Third, we present the empirical findings that emerged from our case study. Last is our discussion and conclusion.

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Dedication
Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos
Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Jakob Lauring, Toke Bjerregaard
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Knowledge Sharing and Sociality: On the Linguistic Embeddedness of Knowledge Exchange in International Subsidiaries
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Chapter 2
Ruth Alas
This chapter analyzes organizational changes and organizational learning in Estonian companies. During the last decades, Estonia has transformed... Sample PDF
Organizational Learning During Changes in Estonian Organization
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Chapter 3
Giovanni Schiuma
Today’s global business is characterised by interconnectedness, interdependence, and an increasing level of complexity that force organisations to... Sample PDF
Strategies for Assessing Organisational Knowledge Assets
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Chapter 4
Poul Houman Andersen
In order to capture market dividends and stay at par with the competition in the knowledge-based economy, firms must constantly develop their skill... Sample PDF
Division of Interfirm Activities in the Knowledge-Based Economy: The Crucial Role of Knowledge Processors
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Chapter 5
Luiz Antonio Joia, Paulo Sérgio da Silva Sanz
Since the early 1990s, research has been conducted in an attempt to establish a viable and reliable manner of measuring the intangible assets, also... Sample PDF
The Conundrum of Valuing a Company's Intellectual Capital: The Role of Taken-for-Granted Indicators
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Chapter 6
Tongo Constantine Imafidon
This chapter avers that over the past years, monolithic organizations, as opposed to multicultural organizations, have been created by many top... Sample PDF
The Multicultural Organization: A Historic Organizational Theory for Gaining Competitiveness in Global Business Environment
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Chapter 7
Arla Juntunen
This chapter focuses on the challenges of developing a knowledge management platform to support organizational memory and knowledge transfer. The... Sample PDF
Developing a Corporate Memory as a Competitive Advantage in the ICT-Sector
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Chapter 8
Corrado lo Storto
This chapter reports the findings of an empirical study whose purpose is to identify the attributes of the organization infrastructure that support... Sample PDF
Learning Organizations or Organizations for Learning? How Small Firms can Learn from Planned and Random Technical Problem-Solving: Implications for Technical Education
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Chapter 9
Ernesto Villalba
The present study explores the relationship between the knowledge-enabling environment and the demand of training in 18 small private companies... Sample PDF
Learning at the Core: Knowledge Management as an Employer Strategy for Lifelong Learning
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Chapter 10
Dimitris Bibikas, Iraklis Paraskakis, Alexandros G. Psychogios, Ana C. Vasconcelos
The increasing pressure of today’s highly globalised markets has lead organisations to continuously compete for knowledge and innovation. Despite... Sample PDF
An Integrated Knowledge Innovation Process Management Model: The Case of Skandia
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Chapter 11
Christian Nielsen, Robin Roslender, Per Nikolaj Bukh
During the last decade, many calls for improving disclosure practices, in relation to intellectual capital and intangibles, have been uttered in the... Sample PDF
Intellectual Capital Reporting: Can a Strategy Perspective Solve Accounting Problems?
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Chapter 12
Huei-Chen Hsu
The main points of this chapter are probing for the combination of information technology and virtual work, and how to change the distribution of... Sample PDF
Managing the Information Technology: Knowledge Transfer in Virtual Teams
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Chapter 13
Miltiadis D. Lytras, Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos
Multinational companies (MNCs) are facing important challenges within the current economic context. Rapid technological changes, the globalization... Sample PDF
The Building of the Intellectual Capital Statement in Multinationals: Challenges for the Future
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Chapter 14
Pedro López Sáez, José Emilio Navas López, Gregorio Martín de Castro
During more than a decade, the literature has provided several intellectual capital models. Nevertheless, empirical evidence is still necessary in... Sample PDF
Intellectual Capital in Knowledge-Intensive Firms: Exploring the Concept and Main Components in Boston's Route 128
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Chapter 15
Weiling Ke, Kwok Kee Wei
This chapter uses organizational learning as a lens to study how firms implement the enterprise system. The core research questions are: What are... Sample PDF
Organizations and Learning Process: Its Antecedents and Consequences in Enterprise System Implementation
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Chapter 16
Kholekile L. Gwebu, Jing Wang
Improvements in technology have led to innovations in training such as Electronic Learning (E-learning). E-learning aims to help organizations in... Sample PDF
The Role of Organizational Environmental, and Human Factors in E-Learning Diffusion
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Chapter 17
Mikel Sorli, Dragan Stokic
Managing of knowledge for innovation in an extended enterprise (EE) environment is a key issue. This in turn requires effective utilization of... Sample PDF
Supporting Innovation Through Knowledge Management in the Extended Enterprise
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Chapter 18
Luis Felipe Luna-Reyes
Contemporary organizations face the challenge of growing and advancing in a complex and changing environment (Johannessen, Olaisen, & Olsen, 2001;... Sample PDF
Government Innovation Through Knowledge Management
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Chapter 19
Marc Henselewski, Stefan Smolnik, Gerold Riempp
Today’s business environment is characterized by highly transparent markets and global competition. Technology life cycles are decreasing due to the... Sample PDF
A Technology-Focused Framework for Integrating Knowledge Management into Strategic Innovation Management
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About the Contributors