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Affärssystemsprojekt: konsekvenser av att vara sluten eller öppen för förändringar
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Affärssystemsprojekt är en väsentlig företeelse i organisationer. Allt ifrån små till större nationella och internationella företag har ett affärssystem som stöd för sina affärsprocesser. Införande och byte av affärssystem betraktas inom affärsvärlden som en av de mest krävande och riskfyllda förändringarna ett företag kan genomföra. Att studera affärssystemsprojekt är av intresse ur ett organisationsperspektiv eftersom resultatet får långvariga konsekvenser för organisationen. Interorganisatoriska affärssystemsprojekt består dessutom av parter från två organisationer, vilka har skilda typer av kompetenser och roller. I ett affärssystemsprojekt är begrepp som projektmål, tidsdimension, och interorganisatoriska team av vikt att diskutera. Kommunikation, funktionen som översättare mellan parterna och ledarnas delaktighet för att integrera informationsstrategier och affärsstrategier är, enligt tidigare forskning inom både informationssystems och projektforskning, av vikt att diskutera.

Det finns olika synsätt på förändring och sambanden som råder vid genomförandet av affärssystemprojekt. Det ena är att projektdeltagarna bör vara slutna för förändring och det andra är att de bör vara öppna för förändring av projektmål, tid och team beroende på den kunskap som utvecklas. Studier som fokuserar på konsekvenser för organisationer av det ena eller andra synsättet är däremot begränsade. Studiens övergripande problem är att studera vilka konsekvenser det kan få för leverantörs respektive beställarorganisationerna om parterna är slutna respektive öppna för förändring.

Avhandlingen avser att bidra till både näringsliv och affärssystemsforskningen genom att beskriva konsekvenser för leverantörs och beställarorganisationer av om parterna är slutna eller öppna för förändringar inom affärssystemsprojekt.

Multipla och longitudinella fallstudier har genomförts för att uppmärksamma organisatoriska konsekvenser över tid. Studien har genomförts indelad i tre faser (1) en retrospektiv fas, (2) en observationsfas och (3) en longitudinell fas. Datainsamlingsmetoder som använts är intervjuer, observationer och dokumentgranskning för att beskriva konsekvenser för både leverantörs och beställarorganisationer som genomför affärssystemsprojekt.

Resultaten visar att en öppenhet och en slutenhet för förändringar av projektmål, tid och team fick konsekvenser för de båda organisationerna. När båda parter var slutna för förändring blev det svårt att använda kunskap inom projekten. Leverantören identifierade strategiska lärandeprojekt innan de beslutade sig för att vara öppna för förändring. När beställarna var öppna för förändring och leverantören sluten för förändring genomförde beställarna lärande och förändringsprojekt utanför projekten och de gemensamma projekten sekventiellt. När båda parter var öppna för förändringar blev konsekvenserna varken system eller organisationsutveckling, vilket hade kunnat förväntas. Istället ledde det till kommunikationsbarriärer.

I denna sammanläggningsavhandling sammanställs och beskrivs resultaten från studien av affärsystemsprojekt via fyra publicerade artiklar.

Abstract [en]

ERP-Projects are important activities within organizations. Most organizations use ERP-systems from small to large national and international companies. Actually, Business considers ERP projects as one of the most demanding and risky changes an organization can perform.

An Investigation into ERP-projects is of interest from an organizational point of view because the result affects the organization in a long-term perspective. In addition, Interorganizational ERP-projects consists of team members from two different areas of business, who have different competencies and roles. Communication in-between the parties, the functionality for intermediary’s and the managers’ participation are important within information systems and project research. However, In ERP-projects are concepts such as project goal, timeframes and Interorganizational teams important to discuss.

There are divergent approaches on change and associations that prevail in realization of the ERP-projects. One approach is that the project participants ought to be closed and the other is that they ought to be open for changes in project goals, time and team depending on the knowledge that is developed. The investigations comprehensive problem is to study organizational consequences within the supplier and the customers´ organizations if they are open or closed for change.  

The aim of the dissertation is to contribute to both business and ERP research through a description of consequences for supplier and customer organizations if the parties are closed or open for change within ERP-projects. 

Multiple and longitudinal case studies have been used to discover organizational consequences from a long-term perspective. The investigation is conducted in three phases (1) a retrospective phase (2) an observational phase and (3) a longitudinal phase. Data collection methods used is interviews, observations and document investigations to be able to describe consequences for both supplier and customers’ organizations that are performing ERP-projects.

In the results, an openness and closeness to change of project goals, time frames and team resources within the projects were associated with consequences for both of the organizations. When both parties were closed to change it was difficult to utilize knowledge developed within the projects. The supplier identified strategical learning projects before they decided to be open for change. When the customers were open for change and the supplier closed for change the customers performed learning and change outside the common projects and the Interorganizational project sequential. When both parties were open for change the expected system and organizational development did not appear. Instead, when both parties had an openness for change there were plenty of communication barriers. 

In this dissertation, the results from the investigation of ERP projects is compiled and described through four published articles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2016. , 73 p.
Series
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 90
Keyword [en]
ERP-projects, open, closed, change
Keyword [sv]
Affärssystemsprojekt, öppen, sluten, förändring
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114397ISBN: 978-91-7601-414-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-114397DiVA: diva2:914955
Public defence
2016-04-29, Hörsal B, Lindellhallen, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-08 Created: 2016-01-18 Last updated: 2016-05-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Learn not to learn: A way of keeping budgets and deadlines in ERP projects?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learn not to learn: A way of keeping budgets and deadlines in ERP projects?
2008 (English)In: Enterprise Information Systems, ISSN 1751-7575, E-ISSN 1751-7583, Vol. 2, no 1, 77-95 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper takes as its point of departure the conflict between the project as an organisational form for time-limited task execution and the project as an organisational form for triggering knowledge development and learning. The aim of the paper is to explore how knowledge developed in ERP projects can be managed, as well as to identify potential influences on the management of knowledge developed in the project process. Qualitative data has been collected through interviews, document studies, and participant observations. The paper presents evidence that problems of keeping to budgets and timelines in ERP projects can depend on the fact that knowledge developed in the project process is also exploited in the project process. In order to bridge the conflict between the project as a time-limited form for task execution and an organisational form for knowledge development and learning, three tentative strategies for exploiting knowledge developed in the project process are suggested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2008
Keyword
project management, ERP projects, information and communication technology, knowledge management
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-9326 (URN)10.1080/17517570701793830 (DOI)000207470800005 ()
Available from: 2008-03-25 Created: 2008-03-25 Last updated: 2016-04-06Bibliographically approved
2. Communication barriers in an interorganizational ERP-project
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Communication barriers in an interorganizational ERP-project
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 9, no 1, 214-233 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyze communication patterns and bridging activities to be able to describe communication barriers in an interorganizational enterprise resource planning (ERP) project and some ways to overcome those.

Design/methodology/approach – The empirical arena was an interorganizational ERP-project, which implemented an On-Premise ERP-system. The goal for the team, assembled from both the buyer and supplier, was to implement an ERP-system, with a fixed price calculated from the expected resources and time needed, half a year. Participant observations, complementary interviews and documentation studies were accomplished, to be able to find and describe communication barriers for organizational development.

Findings – Communication barriers were found, such as technnological concerns, micro-level discussions, limited bridging activities and openness to change.

Research limitations/implications – The present study, concerning one single, interorganizational ERP-project provides a starting point for further research concerning communication barriers in ERP-projects.

Further research could look at the implications communication barriers could have for the buyer and supplier organization in a long term. Practical implications – In managerial implications, some ways to overcome those barriers are discussed.

Originality/value – Communication barriers found, and their impact on knowledge development within interorganizational ERP-projects, is described. The paper offers a starting point for future research concerning communication barriers. Results could be used of managers to understand communication barriers and their implications for knowledge development and organizational change.

Keyword
Closed or open for change, Communication barriers, Interorganizational ERP-project
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108354 (URN)10.1108/IJMPB-06-2015-0047 (DOI)000369995800012 ()
Available from: 2015-09-09 Created: 2015-09-09 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Contracted ERP projects: sequential progress, mutual learning, relationships, control and conflicts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contracted ERP projects: sequential progress, mutual learning, relationships, control and conflicts
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 4, no 3, 458-479 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the sequential nature that enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects tend to take and to describe how the buyer typically behaves concerning the need for control and learning in and in-between ERP projects.

Design/methodology/approach – Results come from an in-depth case study of sequential ERP projects. The respondents were a major Swedish retailer and a supplier who undertook upgrading of an ERP system with six separate and sequential projects. The research was framed by independent pre- and post-interviews in three buyer companies' from different areas of business.

Findings – Results suggest that success is associated with mutual learning between supplier and buyer organizations that lead to reasonably amicable working relationships. Control considerations run through these projects and conflicts appear minimal in the sequential treatment. Insightful interpretation comes not only from empirical reflection on interactions in an in-depth case study, but also from concepts available in decision making and project marketing as well.

Research limitations/implications – Case studies present in-depth understanding but have generalization limitations. Also the case study was accomplished in Sweden and thus knowledge about behaviour in other countries and cultures is needed.

Practical implications – Managers investing in relationships and learning in an initial project probably suffer in terms of satisfaction and profitability at that stage but could accomplish more effective, satisfying and profitable situations over time. In particular, appreciation of the nature of the sequential project development, mutual control, delivery and learning in these projects could be useful in understanding the buyer behaviour in ERP projects.

Originality/value – Learning is important in projects but how do the buyers behave? A description of the sequential nature of ERP projects and the learning process both within the buyer's company and within the supplier's company is established. Tables are created that describe how the gap in the mutual learning process decreases in-between projects in business-to-business projects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Ltd, 2011
Keyword
Information systems, Managing projects, Manufacturing resource planning, Project management, Project marketing, Project success and strategy, Purchasing and supply, Supplier relations
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-45875 (URN)10.1108/17538371111144175 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-08-19 Created: 2011-08-19 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
4. Containing transaction costs in ERP implementation through identification of strategic learning projects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Containing transaction costs in ERP implementation through identification of strategic learning projects
2007 (English)In: Project Management Journal, ISSN 8756-9728, E-ISSN 1938-9507, Vol. 38, no 2, 84-92 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems requires in-depth understanding of the idiosyncrasies of the receiving organization, thus implying specific learning costs. ERP projects delivered in form of contracted projects in a competitive market environment often ignore costs for competitive reasons (Linderoth & Lundqvist, 2004). However, these learning costs add to the overall transaction costs of a project. If not budgeted into the individual projects, these costs accumulate at the project portfolio level of project delivery organizations (sellers) and must be managed adequately. One way of minimizing learning costs at the portfolio level is to identify strategic learning projects, which accrue higher than planned (competitive) costs, but lower the costs of future projects and thereby the overall learning costs at the portfolio level. The present study investigated the practices of dealing with costs of learning projects at a Swedish ERP consultancy over at period of six months. The results show how to lower portfolio-level project costs in the longterm through identification of strategic learning projects, with expected budget overruns in the short-term. The study takes a transaction-costs-economic (TCE) perspective. A model shows the impact of short-term learning investments on the lowering of implementation risks in future projects. The model can be used by managers for understanding long-term profitability by exceeding time and budget objectives in the short term.

Keyword
projects, knowledge creation, transaction cost economics, ERP, multiproject organization, portfolio management
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-14614 (URN)
Available from: 2007-06-11 Created: 2007-06-11 Last updated: 2016-04-06Bibliographically approved

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