Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to apply a philosophical framework in order to come to a life‐world oriented understanding of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for evaluating system success. To do so, according to Dooyeweerd's theory of aspects, a multi‐aspectual understanding is derived based on end‐user's everyday experience of the system. Design/methodology/approach – Through a qualitative case study, data are gathered based on 17 semi‐structured interviews. The company within which this study was conducted is an Iranian manufacturer which fully implemented a SAP R/3 system about four years ago. In order to analyze text data, an interpretive text analysis is conducted. Findings – According to the results, among all 15 aspects and from end users’ point of view, the qualifying aspects are analytical, pistic, economic and formative, which means that the other aspects are ignored or repressed throughout the organization. All these qualifying aspects include both positive and negative norms but for three of them (analytical, economic and formative) the positive norms are dominant. Regarding the pistic aspect, even though it includes strong positive norms, they are not dominant compared to negative norms. Synthesizing results show that according to “Meeting objectives”, “User satisfaction” and “Emancipation” as general norms, ERP success, in order to be completely realized, requires each general norm to be considered as a multi‐aspectual criterion. Practical implications – First, the management team has to concentrate not only on economic and formative objectives but also on the other aspectual objectives which are more qualitative and intangible. Each aspectual objective requires its own specific methods and data to be measured, therefore the management team must provide supportive conditions so that multiple measurement systems are allowed to be implemented. Second, through new long‐term plans, budgets and training courses, already ignored aspects such as psychic, lingual, social, aesthetic, juridical and ethical must be more focused in order to bring to them more visibility and recognition throughout the organization. Third, In order to increase the positive norms for all aspects, holding periodical workshops and training courses is helpful. In addition, implementing reward systems can be a complementary action in order to improve positive norms. Originality/value – The paper shows that evaluating ERP success according to end users’ point of view brings more visibility to some issues which are usually ignored or missed by quantitative or uni‐aspectual approaches. Furthermore, utilizing Dooyeweerd's framework as a life‐oriented philosophy for evaluating ERP success is a novel work, which may lead to a kind of development and enrichment in the ERP success literature.
Journal of Enterprise Information Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 21, 2012
Keywords: Iran; Manufacturing industries; Organizations; Resource management; User satisfaction; Enterprise resource planning; Life‐world philosophy; Dooyeweerd; Multi‐aspectual understanding; Qualifying aspects; General norms; Emancipation
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