Understanding the Mismatch between ERP and Organizational Information Needs and Its Responses: A Study based on Organizational Memory Theory


조직의 정보 니즈와 ERP 기능과의 불일치 및 그 대응책에 대한 이해: 조직 메모리 이론을 바탕으로

Seung Ryul Jeong, Uk Ho Bae

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Until recently, successful implementation of ERP systems has been a popular topic among ERP researchers, who have attempted to identify its various contributing factors. None of these efforts, however, explicitly recognize the need to identify disparities that can exist between organizational information requirements and ERP systems. Since ERP systems are in fact “packages”-that is, software programs developed by independent software vendors for sale to organizations that use them-they are designed to meet the general needs of numerous organizations, rather than the unique needs of a particular organization, as is the case with custom-developed software. By adopting standard packages, organizations can substantially reduce many of the potential implementation risks commonly associated with custom-developed software. However, it is also true that the nature of the package itself could be a risk factor as the features and functions of the ERP systems may not completely comply with a particular organization’s informational requirements.
In this study, based on the organizational memory mismatch perspective that was derived from organizational memory theory and cognitive dissonance theory, we define the nature of disparities, which we call “mismatches,” and propose that the mismatch between organizational information requirements and ERP systems is one of the primary determinants in the successful implementation of ERP systems. Furthermore, we suggest that customization efforts as a coping strategy for mismatches can play a significant role in increasing the possibilities of success.
In order to examine the contention we propose in this study, we employed a survey-based field study of ERP project team members, resulting in a total of 77 responses. The results of this study show that, as anticipated from the organizational memory mismatch perspective, the mismatch between organizational information requirements and ERP systems makes a significantly negative impact on the implementation success of ERP systems. This finding confirms our hypothesis that the more mismatch there is, the more difficult successful ERP implementation is, and thus requires more attention to be drawn to mismatch as a major failure source in ERP implementation.
This study also found that as a coping strategy on mismatch, the effects of customization are significant. In other words, utilizing the appropriate customization method could lead to the implementation success of ERP systems. This is somewhat interesting because it runs counter to the argument of some literature and ERP vendors that minimized customization (or even the lack thereof) is required for successful ERP implementation. In many ERP projects, there is a tendency among ERP developers to adopt default ERP functions without any customization, adhering to the slogan of “the introduction of best practices.” However, this study asserts that we cannot expect successful implementation if we don’t attempt to customize ERP systems when mismatches exist.
For a more detailed analysis, we identified three types of mismatches-Non-ERP, Non-Procedure, and Hybrid. Among these, only Non-ERP mismatches (a situation in which ERP systems cannot support the existing information needs that are currently fulfilled) were found to have a direct influence on the implementation of ERP systems. Neither Non-Procedure nor Hybrid mismatches were found to have significant impact in the ERP context. These findings provide meaningful insights since they could serve as the basis for discussing how the ERP implementation process should be defined and what activities should be included in the implementation process. They show that ERP developers may not want to include organizational (or business processes) changes in the implementation process, suggesting that doing so could lead to failed implementation. And in fact, this suggestion eventually turned out to be true when we found that the application of process customization led to higher possibilities of failure. From these discussions, we are convinced that Non-ERP is the only type of mismatch we need to focus on during the implementation process, implying that organizational changes must be made before, rather than during, the implementation process.
Finally, this study found that among the various customization approaches, bolt-on development methods in particular seemed to have significantly positive effects. Interestingly again, this finding is not in the same line of thought as that of the vendors in the ERP industry. The vendors’ recommendations are to apply as many best practices as possible, thereby resulting in the minimization of customization and utilization of bolt-on development methods. They particularly advise against changing the source code and rather recommend employing, when necessary, the method of programming additional software code using the computer language of the vendor. As previously stated, however, our study found active customization, especially bolt-on development methods, to have positive effects on ERP, and found source code changes in particular to have the most significant effects. Moreover, our study found programming additional software to be ineffective, suggesting there is much difference between ERP developers and vendors in viewpoints and strategies toward ERP customization.
In summary, mismatches are inherent in the ERP implementation context and play an important role in determining its success. Considering the significance of mismatches, this study proposes a new model for successful ERP implementation, developed from the organizational memory mismatch perspective, and provides many insights by empirically confirming the model’s usefulness.


 Ⅰ. 서론
 Ⅱ. 이론적 배경
  2.1 ERP 구현 프로세스의 특징
  2.2 조직 메모리 이론
  2.3 조직 메모리 불일치 관점
  2.4 조직 메모리 불일치 관점에서 본 ERP구현
  2.5 조직 메모리 불일치에 대한 대응 전략
 Ⅲ. 연구 설계
  3.1 연구 모형 및 가설
  3.2 측정 도구의 개발
  3.3 자료 수집 및 표본의 특성
 Ⅳ. 연구 분석
  4.1 타당성과 신뢰도 분석
  4.2 가설 검증과 상세 분석
 Ⅴ. 결론
  5.1 결론 및 토의
  5.2 시사점 및 한계


  • Seung Ryul Jeong 정승렬. Professor, Graduate School of Business IT, Kookmin University
  • Uk Ho Bae 배억호. Consultant, Ecosian


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