Emergent use of enterprise systems by employees : exploring the human side

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Emergent use of enterprise systems by employees : exploring the human side


Author: Wang, Wei
Title: Emergent use of enterprise systems by employees : exploring the human side
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2007
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Business planning.
Management information systems -- Human factors.
Employees -- Effect of technological innovations on.
Information technology -- Management.
Department: Dept. of Management and Marketing
Pages: x, 182 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2116719
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/10
Abstract: Modern organizations are making significant investments in enterprise systems. These systems usually embody the best practices in each industry, and provide reference models or process templates for the adopting organizations (Benders et al. 2006). Vendors make promises, and organizations act on the belief that they will benefit from the capabilities of the systems. However, these advertised benefits are equally available to competitors who also adopt the systems. ERP adoption among these competitors leads to what Michael Porter termed "strategic convergence" (Porter 1985). Routine usage of these systems thus provides little comparative advantage. In this vein, the unique competitive advantages of implementing ERP can only flow from benefits beyond those originally envisioned by the vendors. Extant research on learning curves suggests that, by using technologies, workers often obtain utilities that exceed the maximum capacity indicated by technology providers (Dutton and Thomas 1984). Toward this end, an important way to derive further competitive advantage is to find new ways to creatively use the system, or emergent use. Emergent use, in this study, is defined as using a technology in an innovative manner to support an individual's tasks and enhance his/her productivity. Enterprise systems are often adopted at the organizational level, and employees are often obligated to use the adopted system. Under mandatory circumstances, employees still retain considerable discretion to determine whether, and to what extent, to use the system to support their tasks (Silver 1990, 1991). Meanwhile, the complexity of enterprise systems allows users to utilize them at distinct levels. A higher level of performance is usually associated with a higher level of use (Cooper and Zmud 1990). The highest level of use, such as emergent use, can stimulate high productivity, generate high value-added goods and services, and ultimately enhance organizations' ability to compete in the knowledge-driven economy (Bhattacherjee and Premkumar 2004; DeLone and McLean 1992). However, limited theoretical explanations are available for emergent use, especially in the organizational context of mandatory usage. Therefore, this study aims to address the thorny issue of understanding exactly what it takes to foster the emergent use of enterprise systems in organizations in order to maximize the return on information systems investment. Drawing upon the Expectation-Confirmation Model of IS continuance and organizational assimilation framework, this study proposed a research model to explore employees' emergent use, particularly when it is mandated by an organization. A field study was conducted in two large manufacturing firms using ERP systems to empirically validate the model. The results suggest that factors informed by direct experience prior to post-acceptance, specifically perceived usefulness and satisfaction, strongly affect emergent use. In contrast to the commonly accepted view of information systems implementation, the effect of general management support on emergent use at the post-acceptance stage does not get support in this study. Instead, personal traits, such as personal innovativeness with information technology, exert significant influence on emergent use. This study represents one of the few efforts to enhance our knowledge of emergent use in organizational contexts. The findings advance our knowledge of emergent use and identify key factors for managers to formulate effective interventions for planned outcomes.

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