Enterprise Resource Planning: Management, Social and Organizational Issues

By Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah | Go to book overview

Misalignments in ERP Implementation:
A Dialectic Perspective

Christina Soh Siew Kien Sia Wai Fong Boh May Tang
Nanyang Business School
Nanyang Technological University

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are often not fully aligned with the imple-
menting organization. It is important to understand their sources of misalignments
because they can have significant implications for the organization. From a dialectic
perspective, such misalignments are the result of opposing forces that arise from
structures embedded in the ERP package and the organization.

An intensive case study was conducted in one organization that has experienced
significant misalignments with its ERP implementation. A typology of the misalign-
ments and four pairs of dialectic forces were identified. Articulating deeper structural
level misalignments enables organizations to examine their assumptions about the
“permanent” characteristics of the organization and helps misalignments surface
early to aid planning for resolution strategies.


1. INTRODUCTION

Organizations implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) packages (or any other large-scale package) will find gaps between organizational requirements and package features. These gaps require the organization to decide whether to customize the package or to change organizational practices to fit the package. ERP vendors and consultants strongly advocate adoption of the package with minimal customization for a variety of reasons (Brehm, Heinzl, & Markus, 2000): to minimize implementation risk, reduce implementation cost, avoid negative impacts on system performance, facilitate adoption of future package upgrades, reduce maintenance costs, and foster adoption of process-oriented “best practices.” Organizational users, however, often demand to have the ERP package customized to meet

Requests for reprints should be sent to Christina Soh, Information Management Research Center,
Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798.
E-mail: Acsoh@ntu.edu.sg

-81-

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