Volume 16 Issue 2 / Sep 2013 pp86‑161
Abstract: Power is an important aspect of the social systems that make up organizations. The concept of power helps to explain how organizational decisions are made and executed, despite opposition that results from competing goals and desires amongst tho se in which a given decision affects. Using resource dependence and strategic contingency theories for guidance, we identify potential sources of intra‑organizational power for the information technology (IT) department and its members. The comprehensiv e list of propositions developed in this paper will provide researchers potential hypotheses to test in future research, as well as a means to assess overall IT departmental power. While power plays an important role in facilitating the execution of the a ctivities by an organization⠒s IT department, it is often pursued by self‑interested individuals, due to the fact that it provides the ability to influence decisions, such as resource allocation, as well as providing a sense of control over organization al outcomes and personal satisfaction. Based on the propositions developed in this paper, we demonstrate how power considerations provide one plausible explanation for many of the poor organization outcomes that occur with respect to the IT function, incl uding technology for technology⠒s sake, a lack of user preferences being integrated into IT systems development projects, resistance to using of knowledge management systems, and resistance to IS outsourcing. Our discussion of power‑gaining activities p rovides practitioners an explanation of dysfunctional behaviors that previously may have been perceived as irrational, or even undetected. In our discussion section, we provide suggestions for researching the propositions we have developed. In particular, we suggest that a longitudinal or multi‑case study approach may provide the best method for researchers to test our set of propositions. At the same time, we caution that results from case studies would be difficult to generalize, as the configuration of IT solutions adopted by organizations tend to
Keywords: Keywords: Information Technology Department, Strategic Contingency, Resource Dependence, Dysfunctional Behavior
The effects of ERP‑implementations on the non‑financial performance of small and medium‑sized enterprises in the Netherlands pp103‑115
Abstract: In this paper we try to assess the impact of ERP‑implementations on the development of non‑financial organizational performance, as described by Shang and Seddon (2002) and Eckartz et al. (2009). We assess this impact for Dutch small and med ium‑sized enterprises, using a small but unique dataset. Several aspects of the performance of organizations are compared before and after the introduction of an ERP‑system, taking into account a three‑year period, and controlling for several influential factors (like organizational size, financial health and sectoral differences). We conclude that by and large, organizational performance increased significantly more for organizations that implemented an ERP‑system in the last three years than for organ izations that did not implement such a system. We also conclude that organizations that implemented an ERP‑system at most three years ago did not have significantly lower non‑financial performance than organizations that did not implement such a system. A dditional analyses suggest that we would oversell our results if we would claim that ERP‑systems are the main or sole source of the effects found. Nevertheless, although limited to Dutch SMEs, our results contradict some of the views expressed in the ERP‑ literature.
Keywords: : ERP systems, organizational performance, organizational benefits, non-financial performance, SME, surveys
A Delphi Examination of Inhibitors of The Effective use of Process Industry Enterprise Resource Planning (Erp) Systems: A Case Study of New Zealands Process Industry pp116‑133
Abstract: An ERP System is among the core information system (IS) software being adopted in the process industries globally. Such systems are claimed to offer strategic and operational improvement to firms supply chain effectiveness. Prior studies have shown that most adopting firms are not achieving the strategic business value identified in the project justification due to employees ineffective use of the system. The gains that such firms have achieved by implementing ERP systems in terms of increas e in operational efficiency are often accompanied by daunting ineffective usability problems. Building on Technology Organization Environment (TOE) theory, Task‑Technology Fit (TTF) theory and the theory of usage inhibition, this study examines the in hibitors of the effective use of ERP systems. The study used the Delphi technique to draw from the experiences of a few ERP adopters from New Zealands process industries. Findings suggest that non‑collaborative training among employees, low absorptive ca pacity and system misfit are the top most critical inhibitors. Others inhibitors include inadequate ERP expertise, ERP default attributes, lack of continuous improvement and poor vendors support. The theoretical and practical implications of these findin gs are discussed in the concluding section.
Abstract: Broadband infrastructure is seen as crucial to a countrys social, economic and scientific goals and a requirement of the knowledge economy. Broadband has the ability to improve the lives of citizens as it can provide ICT skills for employment a nd improve access to online forms of education. It has been purported to provide consumers with better work/life balance attributed to increased empowerment and productivity, the ability to work from home and reduced stress. South Africa has recognized th e importance of high‑speed broadband technology to advance the communications infrastructure of the country. However, although the demand for broadband is quite high, the adoption of the technology is lower than anticipated, particularly within the househ olds of consumers. South Africa has fallen behind international peers in both the developed and some developing markets in its rollout of broadband services. While various studies and models aim to explain the adoption of broadband, there is little litera ture on the impact of broadband services in African countries. To address this need this paper investigates the use and impact of broadband services in South African households. The research comprises an initial literature review, followed by a qualitativ e study which is then validated by a quantitative study. The study shows that South African broadband users are predominantly experimental users. Users with higher usage of broadband in terms of variety or rate of use are able to work from home and purpor t to save time which results in a more comfortable lifestyle. They are more satisfied with the technology and show an interest in future‑oriented communication technologies. The resultant model adds to the existing literature and this analysis will allow various stakeholders such as government, Internet Service Providers (ISP), business consumers and public organisations to make more informed decisions on broadband infrastructure investments
Abstract: The critical importance of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in modern business has created a demand for ERP consultants with the appropriate competencies to implement, maintain and support these systems. Education and training progra mmes have been implemented in order to provide ERP specialists and graduates with the required industry relevant ERP competencies. The majority of these education and training programmes utilise large ERP systems for instructional purposes, however users of these systems encounter usability issues whilst learning to use the systems. The use of medium‑sized ERP systems has been proposed for educational purposes as they are less complex and easier to learn than large ERP systems. Empirical studies on the us ability of ERP systems, particularly for medium‑sized ERP systems are limited. This paper reports on empirical research on the usability evaluation of a medium‑sized ERP system. The study identified three categories of criteria and 10 criteria which can b e used for usability evaluations of medium‑sized ERP systems. The criteria were used in a case study to evaluate the usability of a medium‑sized ERP system and to obtain qualitative feedback on the usability of the system. The most frequently reported pos itive usability features of the ERP system were the tree‑structure of the menus and the grouping of logically related items. Negative features which were reported included the clutter of the user interface and difficulties with finding information and con trols. These results can provide valuable insight into the ERP learning process for university educators and researchers. The usability evaluation results can assist ERP designers with improving ERP usability, which can improve the quality of ERP training and education programmes and ultimately ERP project success. The usability evaluation results provide considerable insight into the usability problems encountered by students when learning to use ERP systems in their university courses and provide a val uable contribution to usability theory and in particular frustration theory.
Keywords: Keywords: ERP usability, learning ERP, navigation of ERP systems, ERP education, ERP system evaluation