Reflexivity in the Resistance to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Innovation

Reflexivity in the Resistance to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Innovation

Francisco Cua
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch280
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We do not merely have conversations with ourselves, but . . . We are these conversations. – Vandenberghe (2010, p. 55)

Reflexivity is the consciousness of these conversation as it wades down from the cause, the contexts, and the conditions of an action to the action itself and wades down further to its implications (Archer, 2010; Vandenberghe, 2010). The reflexive thinking dates back to nineteenth century, especially in the fields of complexity, economics, epistemology, innovation, and uncertainty (Beinhocker, 2013). Down from antecedents to the action to its consequences, the same consciousness also moves from (first) external conversations with people to the inner conversations with the self and (second) from the internal conversation back to external conversations. The consciousness of the action of the individual defines the social reality that the individual belongs to (Markham & Couldry, 2007; Sandri, 2009).

The reflexivity on the deployment of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) interrelates with the dynamic interactions and social behaviors (e.g., innovation resistance) on one hand and with the society, organizations, and people on the other hand (Menger, 1871). It must address the belief systems and contain the “totality” and the plurality of relevant theoretical lenses (Von Bohm-Bawerk, 1888, p. 7) in the context.

Justification and Argument

For large Kazakhstani corporations with the agenda to conduct Initial Public Offering (IPO), the deployment of ERP is regarded as an essential requirement for enhancing corporate governance and corporate image and ensuring the success of the IPO (Vassiliev, 2007). A successful ERP deployment hinges on increasing knowledge of negative bias or innovation resistance, which is an underdeveloped theoretical lens in the Diffusion of Innovations (Sheth, 1981). The knowledge negative bias sheds light about the S-shaped curve and the adopter categories.

The deployment of the ERP, as a research gap, is not about the adoption but rather the non-adoption (Kleijnen et al., 2009). The first gap appears in the S-shaped curve. Only ten percent of innovations are actually adopted (Tarde, 1903). The second gap involves a construct. The “adopter categories” construct presupposes that everyone in the target segment will eventually adopt the innovation. This ideal situation is never the case.

The reflexivity in this article focuses on the deployment of the ERP and the opinions of the people accepting or resisting the adoption. Innovation resistance is an issue. For ERP, top management needs to develop appropriate strategies against the innovation resistance. The case study shows that recognizing reflexivity and the ontology of becoming are appropriate managerial actions, in addition to other strategies, such as training and retraining.

The argument presupposes that the reflexivity of becoming de-emphasizes the present status quo (the certain state) and, instead, emphasizes the future change (the uncertain state). The emphasis on the becoming (Chia, 1996; Whitehead, 1929) further presupposes that the cognitive presence of beliefs and attitudes influences the thinking of the alternatives and their consequences at individual and organizational levels.



The literature review reveals two reasons associated to an action: the innovation resistance. The first is the reason for action, or the instinctive or affective motive (Dancy, 2000). The second is the reason in favor of action, or the justifying reason (Frankena, 1973). To make the innovation resistance intelligible, both must be kept together (Hutcheson, 1897). Table 1 contains the labels associated to innovation resistance (negative bias), as well as pro-innovation bias (positive bias).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Diffusion of Innovations Theory: Concerns the how, why, and at what rate the new idea (that is, the innovation) diffuses and is adopted.

Reflexivity: Refers to the conversations with ourselves and refers to ourselves as conversations. It is the consciousness of something. If the consciousness pertains to a process, then the flow of conversations with ourselves wades down from its antecedents (e.g., trigger and conditions), to the process itself, and to its consequences. Imagine the conversation to consist of two movements. The first movement passes from the external conversation of a person engages with another person to the inner conversation that she or he does with herself or himself. The second movement reverts back to the external conversations.

Executive Sponsor: Is the owner of a project. In short, he or she is the project sponsor or the project champion. The person is responsible to the organization to overcome resistance and to ensure the success of the project. In an ERP project, the executive sponsor can be the Chief Finance Officer or somebody below this position.

Perceived Attributes of the Innovation: Are the positive or negative biases that decision makers perceive important when they make judgment to accept or reject the adoption of an innovation. These attributes (Set 1) may be real or imaginary. However, it is the perception of the presence of these attributes that matters. The general perceived attributes are the relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trial-ability, and observe-ability. There is another set (the Set 2 positive or negative biases) that pertains to users, such as perceived usefulness or perceived ease of use.

Bias: Can be positive or negative.

Diffusion: Is a process of communicating the new idea within a social system, such as an organization. A successful diffusion culminates in the adoption of the idea.

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