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‘Best’ for whom?: the tension between ‘best practice’ ERP packages and diverse epistemic cultures in a university context
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 19:15 authored by Erica L Wagner, Susan Newell
The idea that so-called ‘best’ business practices can be transferred to organizations when they purchase enterprise resource planning (ERP) software packages is a major selling point of these packages. Yet recent research has illustrated a gap between the espoused theory of a best practice solution and the theory-in-use experienced by those who install software with such a design. As researchers begin to examine the difficult process by which organizations recast the best practices model handed down to them by consultancies and software vendors in an effort to make the software ‘work for them’ in practice, it is equally important that we begin to understand the reasons that such a gap exists. To this end, we analyze the strategic partnership between a multinational software vendor and a university who together designed a ‘best practice’ ERP package for the higher education industry. Through the theoretical lens of ‘epistemic cultures’ we argue that in organizational contexts made up of more than one epistemic culture, the use of a best practice model will be problematic because, by definition, the model mandates one epistemological position through the software design. This is counter to a university's loosely coupled organizational form.
JournalThe Journal of Strategic Information Systems
Department affiliated with
- Business and Management Publications
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