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Journal ArticleDOI

Putting the enterprise into the enterprise system

01 Jul 1998-Harvard Business Review (Harv Bus Rev)-Vol. 76, Iss: 4, pp 121-131
TL;DR: The author discusses the pros and cons of implementing an enterprise system, showing how a system can produce unintended and highly disruptive consequences and cautions against shifting responsibility for its adoption to technologists.
Abstract: Enterprise systems present a new model of corporate computing. They allow companies to replace their existing information systems, which are often incompatible with one another, with a single, integrated system. By streamlining data flows throughout an organization, these commercial software packages, offered by vendors like SAP, promise dramatic gains in a company's efficiency and bottom line. It's no wonder that businesses are rushing to jump on the ES bandwagon. But while these systems offer tremendous rewards, the risks they carry are equally great. Not only are the systems expensive and difficult to implement, they can also tie the hands of managers. Unlike computer systems of the past, which were typically developed in-house with a company's specific requirements in mind, enterprise systems are off-the-shelf solutions. They impose their own logic on a company's strategy, culture, and organization, often forcing companies to change the way they do business. Managers would do well to heed the horror stories of failed implementations. FoxMeyer Drug, for example, claims that its system helped drive it into bankruptcy. Drawing on examples of both successful and unsuccessful ES projects, the author discusses the pros and cons of implementing an enterprise system, showing how a system can produce unintended and highly disruptive consequences. Because of an ES's profound business implications, he cautions against shifting responsibility for its adoption to technologists. Only a general manager will be able to mediate between the imperatives of the system and the imperatives of the business.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This model explains how top management mediates the impact of external institutional pressures on the degree of usage of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and finds that normative pressures directly affect ERP usage.
Abstract: We develop and test a theoretical model to investigate the assimilation of enterprise systems in the post-implementation stage within organizations. Specifically, this model explains how top management mediates the impact of external institutional pressures on the degree of usage of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The hypotheses were tested using survey data from companies that have already implemented ERP systems. Results from partial least squares analyses suggest that mimetic pressures positively affect top management beliefs, which then positively affects top management participation in the ERP assimilation process. In turn, top management participation is confirmed to positively affect the degree of ERP usage. Results also suggest that coercive pressures positively affect top management participation without the mediation of top management beliefs. Surprisingly, we do not find support for our hypothesis that top management participation mediates the effect of normative pressures on ERP usage, but instead we find that normative pressures directly affect ERP usage. Our findings highlight the important role of top management in mediating the effect of institutional pressures on IT assimilation. We confirm that institutional pressures, which are known to be important for IT adoption and implementation, also contribute to post-implementation assimilation when the integration processes are prolonged and outcomes are dynamic and uncertain.

3,126 citations


Cites background from "Putting the enterprise into the ent..."

  • ...With their knowledge of the institutional norms and understanding of the enterprise-wide business processes, the top managers can facilitate the "unpacking" of these products and their integration with existing organizational knowledge (Davenport 1998; Mitchell 2006)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A case study of a largely successful ERP implementation is presented and key factors, software selection steps, and implementation procedures critical to a successful implementation are discussed.

1,730 citations


Cites background from "Putting the enterprise into the ent..."

  • ...An ERP implementation is considered to be a success if it achieves a substantial proportion of its potential benefits [7,21]....

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  • ...An estimated 50–75% of US firms experience some degree of failure in implementing advanced manufacturing technology [7]....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A review of the organizational and cross-cultural IT literature is provided in order to lend insights into the understanding of the linkages between IT and culture and develops a theory of IT, values, and conflict.
Abstract: An understanding of culture is important to the study of information technologies in that culture at various levels, including national, organizational, and group, can influence the successful implementation and use of information technology. Culture also plays a role in managerial processes that may directly, or indirectly, influence IT. Culture is a challenging variable to research, in part because of the multiple divergent definitions and measures of culture. Notwithstanding, a wide body of literature has emerged that sheds light on the relationship of IT and culture. This paper sets out to provide a review of this literature in order to lend insights into our understanding of the linkages between IT and culture. We begin by conceptualizing culture and laying the groundwork for a values-based approach to the examination of IT and culture. Using this approach, we then provide a comprehensive review of the organizational and cross-cultural IT literature that conceptually links these two traditionally separate streams of research. From our analysis, we develop six themes of IT-culture research emphasizing culture's impact on IT, IT's impact on culture, and IT culture. Building upon these themes, we then develop a theory of IT, values, and conflict. Based upon the theory, we develop propositions concerning three types of cultural conflict and the results of these conflicts. Ultimately, the theory suggests that the reconciliation of these conflicts results in a reorientation of values. We conclude with the particular research challenges posed in this line of inquiry.

1,591 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Through a comprehensive review of the literature, 11 factors were found to be critical to ERP implementation success – ERP teamwork and composition, change management program and culture, top management support, business plan and vision, and appropriate business and IT legacy systems are found.
Abstract: Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have emerged as the core of successful information management and the enterprise backbone of organizations. The difficulties of ERP implementations have been widely cited in the literature but research on the critical factors for initial and ongoing ERP implementation success is rare and fragmented. Through a comprehensive review of the literature, 11 factors were found to be critical to ERP implementation success – ERP teamwork and composition; change management program and culture; top management support; business plan and vision; business process reengineering with minimum customization; project management; monitoring and evaluation of performance; effective communication; software development, testing and troubleshooting; project champion; appropriate business and IT legacy systems. The classification of these factors into the respective phases (chartering, project, shakedown, onward and upward) in Markus and Tanis’ ERP life cycle model is presented and the importance of each factor is discussed.

1,433 citations


Cites background from "Putting the enterprise into the ent..."

  • ...The difficulties and high failure rate in implementing ERP systems have been widely cited in the literature (Davenport, 1998), but research on critical success The research register for this journal is available at...

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  • ...The difficulties and high failure rate in implementing ERP systems have been widely cited in the literature (Davenport, 1998), but research on critical success The authors acknowledge the research support provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Layman Fund and Faculty Fellowship....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is argued that organizations need aggressive tactics to encourage users to expand their use of installed IT-enabled work systems and offered a comprehensive research model aimed both at coalescing existing research on post-adoptive IT use behaviors and at directing future research on those factors that influence users to exploit and extend the functionality built into IT applications.
Abstract: For the last 25 years, organizations have invested heavily in information technology to support their work processes. In today's organizations, intra- and interorganizational work systems are increasingly IT-enabled. Available evidence, however, suggests the functional potential of these installed IT applications is underutilized. Most IT users apply a narrow band of features, operate at low levels of feature use, and rarely initiate extensions of the available features. We argue that organizations need aggressive tactics to encourage users to expand their use of installed IT-enabled work systems. This article strives to accomplish three primary research objectives. First, we offer a comprehensive research model aimed both at coalescing existing research on post-adoptive IT use behaviors and at directing future research on those factors that influence users to (continuously) exploit and extend the functionality built into IT applications. Second, in developing this comprehensive research model, we provide a window (for researchers across a variety of scientific disciplines interested in technology management) into the rich body of research regarding IT adoption, use, and diffusion. Finally, we discuss implications and recommend guidelines for research and practice.

1,284 citations