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Five Roles of an Information System: A Social Constructionist Approach to Analysing the Use of ERP Systems
Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, EISLAB - Economic Information Systems.
Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering.
2003 (English)In: Informing Science, ISSN 1521-4672, Vol. 6, 209-220 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a novel way of thinking about how information systems are used in organisations. Traditionally, computerised information systems are viewed as objects. In contrast, by viewing the information system as an actor, the understanding of the structuration process increases. The user, being influenced by the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system and giving it an actor role, thereby also confers agency on the ERP system; through its very use it influences actions and thus also the structure. Based on a case study of ERP use in an ABB company over a decade, five different roles played by the ERP systems were identified. The ERP systems acted as Bureaucrat, Manipulator, Administrative assistant, Consultant or were dismissed (Dismissed) in the sense that intended users chose to avoid using them. These terms are defined in the full text. The purpose of this approach here is not to -animate- the information systems, to give them life or a mind of their own, but rather to make explicit the socially constructed roles conferred on them by users and others who are affected by them. On this basis, it is possible to suggest how the roles can help us open up new areas of exploration concerning the fruitful use of IT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 6, 209-220 p.
Keyword [en]
Interpreting information systems; Structuration theory; ERP systems; Information systems
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-40091Local ID: 52248OAI: diva2:260940
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2011-01-13

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Askenäs, LindaWestelius, Alf
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The Institute of TechnologyEISLAB - Economic Information SystemsDepartment of Management and Engineering
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