Experiences of Misfit as Cues for Sensemaking of ERPs
Keywords:enterprise resource planning systems, ERPs, metropolitan municipality, local government, technology adaptation, information systems adoption, sensemaking, misfit
The adoption of computer-based enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) has become an important feature of large organisations in both the public and private sectors. Successfully embedding ERP systems in organisational structures does, however, pose a significant array of technical and social (human) challenges. Chief among these is ensuring that ERP users successfully adapt to new/changed work processes and tasks post-adoption. In this study Karl Weick's theory of Sensemaking is adopted to investigate the process by which users develop the meaningful understandings of ERPs. It is proposed that experiences of misfit, that result from user ignorance or organisation-artefact misalignment, act as triggers for sensemaking. Based on an integrated interpretive framework a case study of a South African Metropolitan Municipality is used to analyse 34 experiences of misfit and their consequences. Findings suggest that experiences of misfit trigger various types of response strategies during which users’ understanding of and beliefs about ERP technology are updated.
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