Negotiating absent practices and dormant features: discourse as a means of shaping the implementation of a global enterprise system to meet local work culture
Wagner, Erica L.
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The introduction of a new enterprise system to an organization often necessitates the accommodation of standardized practices, which may be in conflict with local users’ practices and their work culture. We explore such a conflict in an India-based multinational organization using an eight-month interpretive case study. Based on grounded analysis, we present a narrative account of how consultants,on contract for managing the deployment and making necessary adjustments, used discourse as a means of shaping user understanding about the features and practices embedded in the underlying system, which were not initially realized through the interface. Sustained user resistance to this shaping led to a negotiated compromise and adaptation of the system to incorporate local work culture. Our findings allow us to explore the undertheorized role of discursive power within an implementeruser-technology trio, and illustrate the feedback utility of user resistance in developing culturally-inclusive designs.
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