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A grounded theory: Integration and internalization in ERP adoption and use

Jinyoul Lee, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study is to investigate how the process-based knowledge from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is transferred to actual work places of the adopting organization, and what (if any) competitive advantages result from that transfer. This study focuses on the internalization of enterprise integration, through an investigation of adoption and use of ERP. Because ERP implementation forces an adopting organization to build efficient and effective business processes, the process is very time consuming, costly, and difficult to institutionalize. Thus, an effective way to implement ERP is challenging yet extremely important to gain competitive advantage. Assuming standard business processes serve as proxies for industrial best practices, this dissertation investigates how knowledge embedded in these “best practices” is transferred to an adopting organization, as well as the resulting consequences. This aspect has been grossly overlooked while many companies have rushed into ERP implementation. The real benefits of ERP are derived not from just improved operational efficiency but also internalization of behavioral aspects. ^ The University of Nebraska has been in a very unique situation in that it is one of the first universities which have adopted ERP. This radical change experience for the institution must be studied with detailed investigation as it is a new experience for every one with the enterprise-wide system. Qualitative research methodologies provide very rich descriptions of a phenomenon. The researcher used two methodologies from sociology: phenomenology and grounded theory. With limited literature on the behavioral aspects of ERP adoption and use, phenomenology will shed new insights from this case study. With these insights, the researcher processed data with grounded theory methods: open coding, axial coding, and selective coding. Grounded theory will help analyze the phenomenon in terms of its context, strategies, and conditions. In summary, phenomenology explained the knowledge transfer aspects and grounded theory helped interpret the process of integrated knowledge internalization in ERP adoption and use. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management

Recommended Citation

Lee, Jinyoul, "A grounded theory: Integration and internalization in ERP adoption and use" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3016318.