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Journal Article

The Influence of Organisational Memory Mismatches and Coping Strategies on ERP Outcomes  pp165-176

Brian O'Donovan, Lisa seymour, Johannes Geldenhuys, Mogamat Isaacs, Kaziwe Kaulule

© Oct 2010 Volume 13 Issue 2, ICIME 2010, Editor: Shaun Pather and Corrie Uys, pp97 - 196

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Abstract

ERP systems are intended to encompass and integrate functions of an organisation resulting in organisational efficiencies. However, during the ERP usage stage these intended efficiencies are not always realised. One cause of this is organisational memory mismatches and the resultant coping strategies employed. Organisational memory can be described as the capability of organisations to retain and transmit information from past to future members and is evident in the persistence of organisational features after the implementation of ERP systems. Therefore to realise operational efficiencies, organisational memory mismatches between organisational memory and the ERP system need to be addressed. This is not possible without an understanding of the causes of mismatches and the subsequent coping strategies employed. To address this need, this paper presents an analysis of these mismatches, their causes as well as short‑ and long‑term coping strategies employed, and presents a resultant framework. This paper achieved its purpose through an interpretive case study of a large in‑use ERP system. The main data source was in‑depth interviews with users from 12 functional departments. The research identified causes of mismatches and the long and short‑term coping strategies adopted as a result of these mismatches. Mismatches and short‑term coping strategies were found to contribute to ERP underperformance. However, mismatches did not occur in isolation. Over time, coping strategies employed for one type of mismatch would result in another type of mismatch. In other cases coping strategies merely increased the mismatch. Only long‑term coping strategies rectified mismatches, contributing to ERP efficiency. The findings argue for providing sufficient resources for ongoing organisational capacity for customising and upgrading the system as well as for the training and support of end users. While previous research has focussed on identifying organisational memory mismatches, little research has been done on identifying the causes and the coping strategies. These findings will be useful for ERP implementation teams as well as organisations struggling to achieve organisational efficiencies with their ERP systems.

 

Keywords: ERP systems, organisational memory, ERP usage, ERP customising, ERP training, enterprise systems

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 13 Issue 2, ICIME 2010 / Oct 2010  pp97‑196

Editor: Shaun Pather, Corrie Uys

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Editorial

We have pleasure in presenting this special issue of EJISE.  As Information and Communications Technologies and the related Information Systems become ever more pervasive across all spheres of business, government and community based organizations, the scope of this journal has flexed to accommodate these varied settings in which pertinent research problems are located.   Consequently, in this special issue wide‑ranging problems related to the broad ambit of IS evaluation is reported on: 

As many countries continue to develop policies to enhance and sustain the growth of the SME sector, so too does the expenditure and consumption of IT amongst this category of business grow at an ever increasing rate thus warranting the attention of evaluation research. Avraam Papastathopoulos and Christina Beneki investigate an important concern with regards to the factors which are associated with the benefits from the adoption of ICTs amongst SMEs. In a study of the Greek SME sector the paper provides evidence that strategy plays a major role in the adoption and the appropriate use of ICTs.  Importantly their research also finds that prior entrepreneurial experience‑knowledge of ICT is significantly associated with the ICT performance. 

RFID technologies are increasingly used in a number of organisational settings for inventory control and management. Paul Golding and Vanesa Tennant contribute to our understanding of evaluation by proposing a methodology to evaluate the RFID inventory reader in a library.  Whilst the findings of this paper hone in on the application of RFID in a specific environment, the findings provide a basis for which evaluation of RFID in other similar contexts can take place, and thus adds to the conceptual base on RFID performance testing.

Notwithstanding many years of case studies and an increasing body of literature on ERP implementation and evaluation thereof questions continue to arise in respect of successful outcomes.  Brian O’Donovan and his co‑authors argue that during the ERP usage stage the intended efficiencies from ERP systems are not always realised. Having studied organisational memory mismatches and the resultant coping strategies their research posits that mismatches and short‑term coping strategies were found to contribute to ERP underperformance. 

In their paper Peter Weimann and co authors investigate the role of communications culture in a distributed team environment.  In assessing the role of ICTs in such an environment the paper argues that team member satisfaction and team success can only be accomplished if the communication culture in the company takes into account the technologies used and the distributed work setting. 

From amongst the various IS evaluation approaches, those apporaches which focus on the role of human stakeholders  are  worthy of a deeper understanding. Jeffrey Bagraim examines the multiple commitments of information technology knowledge workers and the related outcomes of such commitment. The results of his study challenges managers to review their assumptions about the organizational commitments of information technology knowledge workers.

Web 2.0 applications also receive attention in this issue.  Hooper and Evans investigate the value congruence of social networking services in New Zealand, and make an assessment of ethical information handling.  Their findings demonstrate significant shortcomings in the contractual relationships between the users and social networking services and they argue that this could be exploited in order to misuse personally identifiable data.

The paper by Racheal Lindsay and co‑authors discusses measures which are used to monitor data quality in the context of mobile devices in the UK police force.  Their findings show that whilst there are processes in place to verify data standards, these processes only take into consideration the structural completeness of data, and not other measurements of data quality, such as accuracy, timeliness, relevance, understandability and consistency.

Robbert in't Hout and coauthors studied how a wiki could be used to improve knowledge sharing.  The paper reports on a case study in which a consulting company was able to improve knowledge sharing amongst consultants during the devleopment of a Municipal Traffic and Transport Plan.  The findings  suggest that wikis need to be tuned to the learning styles that are available within the community that will use the tool.  In the context of knowledge sharing impolrtant lessons for wiki design are offered.

Finally, in a study of e‑government adoption, Rangarirai Matavire and co‑authors report on factors which inhibit the successful implementation of e‑government in South Africa. The findings of their research demonstrate that leadership, project fragmentation, perceived value of Information Technology, citizen inclusion and task co‑ordination are among the key inhibitors of e‑government success.

Shaun Pather and Corrie Uys

South Africa, October 2010

 

Keywords: affective commitment, boosting behaviour, communication culture, communication pattern, communication technology, data quality, e-Government, enterprise systems, entrepreneurial experience, ERP customising, ERP systems, ERP training, ERP usage, evaluation, grounded theory, helping behaviour, ICT-adoption, ICT-performance, ICT-strategy, interface design , knowledge management , law enforcement, library, mobile working, Municipal Traffic and Transport Planning, New Zealand Privacy Act 1993, ordinal regression, organisational memory, performance , personal security, personally identifiable information, privacy policies, RFID, social networking services , social software, South Africa, turnover intentions, value congruence, virtual teams, Wiki

 

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