Abstract: Purpose – To identify, classify, and propose a preliminary theory of the value conflicts and social choices that arise in enterprise system use.
Design/methodology/approach – Ethnographic case study of a medium-sized manufacturing firm, using a participant-observer approach.
Findings – Three areas of value conflict are identified between functional areas: conflicts over work priorities, conflicts over dependency on the commitments of others, and conflicts over evaluation fairness. When participants perceived that the value conflicts were accommodated in a balanced and legitimate way, they chose to use information resources within the enterprise system. When the conflicts were perceived as too great, participants chose to ignore the enterprise system, or develop their own competing information resources.
Research limitations/implications – This paper reports on theory building from one intensive case study. It implies, however, that previous attempts to account for the difficulty of enterprise resource planning (ERP) use have not focused enough on the social relationships between the functional areas that are tightly integrated through enterprise systems.
Practical implications – The three value conflict questions (work priorities, dependency on commitments, and evaluation fairness) can be used to identify potential ERP problem areas, and to clarify the costs and benefits of different ERP choices for various functional areas.
Originality/value – For information systems researchers and practitioners, this paper offers another means for identifying value conflicts and social choices in computerization, hopefully bringing us closer to Rob Kling's dream that computerization choices be made in a more socially benign way.
ICT & applications (2)
Bibliography - Information Technology & People (7)
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