The Myth of Integration: A Case Study of an ERP Implementation

The Myth of Integration: A Case Study of an ERP Implementation

Rosio Alvarez (University of Massachusetts, USA)
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-931777-06-3.ch002
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Abstract

This research examines the implementation process of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and shows that implementation cannot be viewed solely in instrumental terms–that is, organizations do not simply select systems based on information requirements so that proper “fit” can be achieved. Instead, this research suggests that the activities of selecting and implementing a new ERP become the medium for (re-)constructing or (re-)constituting the organization’s values. Theorists have described such activities as a “mythmaking” process. A case study of an implementation at a large nonprofit organization is presented to demonstrate how myth-making served to construct an ERP system as an “integrated” system and at the same time served to elaborate existing organizational values. The myth functioned as a vehicle of consensual organizational reality, serving to align the acquisition of an ERP system with the organizational values, thereby garnering widespread support for a complex, expensive and relatively unknown technology.

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