Managing Complexity and Institutionalization: Power and Politics in ERP Implementation in an Australian University

Managing Complexity and Institutionalization: Power and Politics in ERP Implementation in an Australian University

Brian Corbitt (Deakin University, Australia), Konrad Peszynski (Deakin University, Australia) and Olaf Boon (Deakin University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-447-7.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter reports a case study of ERP implementation in an institution of higher education. The ERP is one based on integration of administrative tasks based on Oracle® systems and is successful both in terms of its embeddedness in institutionalized practice and in supporting that university’s operations. The key issue that emerged from the study showed that understanding complexity, institutionalized practice, and the power relations in existence enable the implementation to be more effective, as it can be managed when understood. The chapter argues that organizations reproduce practice and that an ERP challenges that. To deal with that challenge, social dramas emerge wherever power exists, and the resulting conflicts challenge the effectiveness of the systems put in place. In this case study, the key role of the project champion in resolving the social dramas became evident.

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