Examining Technology, Structure and Identity During an Enterprise System Implementation

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This paper presents a longitudinal study of an Enterprise System (ES) implementation by critically examining the discursive context in which an ES implementation unfolds. The findings show that users strongly supported the ES in the earlier stage of implementation when the technology was an imaginary phenomenon. However, in later stages, when the technology is in use, user support was not consistent. In this phase the ES produces loss of control and an inability to function as an arbiter of fairness (in allocating resources associated with the system) thereby directly challenging existing professional identities and roles. These outcomes, in turn, generate ... continued below

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Alvarez, Rosio November 12, 2008.

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Description

This paper presents a longitudinal study of an Enterprise System (ES) implementation by critically examining the discursive context in which an ES implementation unfolds. The findings show that users strongly supported the ES in the earlier stage of implementation when the technology was an imaginary phenomenon. However, in later stages, when the technology is in use, user support was not consistent. In this phase the ES produces loss of control and an inability to function as an arbiter of fairness (in allocating resources associated with the system) thereby directly challenging existing professional identities and roles. These outcomes, in turn, generate acts of resistance on the part of workers. Users reach inside the technology and reshape it by devising creative workarounds that produce a sense of reskilling to counter the deskilling produced by the loss of control and power. The analysis also shows that an ES is a complex social phenomenon that is intricately linked to and complicit in shaping organizational structure and identity. In particular this study shows how technology, structure, and identity are in a mutually constitutive relationship.

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  • Journal Name: Information Systems Journal (ISJ); Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 2; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 11 Jan 2008

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  • Report No.: LBNL-2418E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 971861
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc932407

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • November 12, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 18, 2016, 3:44 p.m.

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Alvarez, Rosio. Examining Technology, Structure and Identity During an Enterprise System Implementation, article, November 12, 2008; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc932407/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.