Applying Collaboration Theory for Improving ERP System-User Interaction

Applying Collaboration Theory for Improving ERP System-User Interaction

Wendy Lucas (Bentley College, USA), Tamara Babaian (Bentley College, USA) and Heikki Topi (Bentley College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-826-0.ch001
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Abstract

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems automate business processes and provide access to data from worldwide operations. These systems remain difficult to learn and use, however, despite the vast resources devoted to employee training and the reams of documentation provided by their manufactures. Oftentimes, even well trained employees will appeal to more knowledgeable users for help or will augment their system use with other software, such as spreadsheet or database applications. The need for such practices has a negative impact on employee performance and the ability of companies to reap the full benefits afforded by ERP systems. To enhance their usability, and thereby increase their usefulness to organizations, we propose the application of collaboration theory to ERP system design. Conceptualizing the relationship between the user and the system as one in which the system works in partnership with the user provides a development framework targeted at helping users achieve their system-related goals.

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