The Contradictions and Complementarities of Combining ERP Systems with Enterprise 2.0 Supported Informal Systems

The Contradictions and Complementarities of Combining ERP Systems with Enterprise 2.0 Supported Informal Systems

Yucan Wang (Aston University, UK) and Andrew Greasley (Aston University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1619-6.ch006
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The chapter discusses both the complementary factors and contradictions of adopting ERP based systems with enterprise 2.0. ERP is characterized as achieving efficient business performance by enabling a standardized business process design, but at a cost of flexibility in operations. It is claimed that enterprise 2.0 can support flexible business process management and so incorporate informal and less structured interactions. A traditional view however is that efficiency and flexibility objectives are incompatible as they are different business objectives which are pursued separately in different organizational environments. Thus an ERP system with a primary objective of improving efficiency and an enterprise 2.0 system with a primary aim of improving flexibility may represent a contradiction and lead to a high risk of failure if adopted simultaneously. This chapter will use case study analysis to investigate the use of a combination of ERP and enterprise 2.0 in a single enterprise with the aim of improving both efficiency and flexibility in operations. The chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the combination of ERP with enterprise 2.0 based on social-technical information systems management theory. The chapter also provides a summary of the benefits of the combination of ERP systems and enterprise 2.0 and how they could contribute to the development of a new generation of business management that combines both formal and informal mechanisms. For example, the multiple-sites or informal communities of an enterprise could collaborate efficiently with a common platform with a certain level of standardization but also have the flexibility in order to provide an agile reaction to internal and external events.
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To begin with we will introduce the existing discussion of ERP and the informal organization. This will then lead on to a discussion of the concept of enterprise 2.0.

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