نقش سرمایه اجتماعی و فکری در دستیابی به مزیت رقابتی از طریق سیستم های برنامه ریزی منابع سازمانی (ERP)
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|12419||2004||24 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, Volume 21, Issue 4, December 2004, Pages 307–330
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software merges a firm's data, information flows and business processes into a single package. Vendors argue that ERP provides an extremely useful strategic resource to enhance competitiveness and make it possible for a firm to leverage its other resources more effectively and efficiently. In addition, they allege that ERP encourages a system-wide perspective that is a basis for collaboration and a systems orientation. However, an examination of ERP systems using criteria established in research on resource-based views of the firm and chaos/complexity theory indicates that these claims are overstated. Observation suggests that even if ERP is necessary to coordinate complicated, multifaceted operations, it is far from sufficient to promote a strong competitive position over the long term. Moreover, ERP systems fit best within mechanistic, clockwork organizations dominated by routine, highly programmed technologies and operations, yet it is the non-routine learning and change processes found in complex, self-organizing systems that enable firms to create distinctive competitive advantages from ERP outputs. ERP makes possible deep changes in relationships, culture, and behaviors that can be crucial sources of advantage in the knowledge economy, but the structures and cultures most able to achieve this level of change are a poor fit with ERP requirements. To reconcile this paradox, we propose a dual-core, loosely coupled organization that views ERP as an enabling technology to build and augment social and intellectual capital, rather than as an information technology (IT) solution for organizational inefficiencies. Propositions for using ERP as a foundation for social and intellectual capital formation are introduced. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Recent chronicles of ERP implementation efforts across a variety of industries suggest that few firms have assessed the long-term strategic and organizational consequences of resolving operational concerns by installing ERP systems (Bingi et al., 1999, Davenport, 1998, Davenport, 2000, Martin, 1998 and Schneider, 1999). ERP generally requires a firm to modify its business practices to conform to software mandates. This, in turn, changes patterns of interaction and often the culture of a firm. If, as some have argued (e.g., Kogut and Zander, 1992, Kogut and Zander, 1996 and Conner and Prahalad, 1996), a firm's information system shapes its processes, culture and social system, then ERP implementation has significant implications that go far beyond operational efficiency. Moreover, since competitive advantage requires asymmetric distinctiveness across firms (Porter, 1996), if ERP achieves operating effectiveness by using a common IT solution across an industry, long-term competitiveness may be jeopardized by conventional ERP implementation. The path that led to this situation is not difficult to diagnose. Manufacturing firms face mounting pressures to reduce costs and simultaneously improve market agility and increase product variety (Ghoshal, 1987). Service firms are expected to provide personalized responsiveness and seamless integration across all aspects of the delivery system (Schneider and Bowen, 1995). Chemical plants, paper mills and utility companies must reduce costs and tie their production directly to the fluctuating needs of major customers. Public enterprises such as city governments are expected to provide high-value, cost-effective solutions to contradictory needs among diverse constituencies (Davenport, 2000). Everywhere constant improvements in operational effectiveness are necessary to achieve superior performance (Porter, 1996). A growing number of firms try to resolve these challenges by implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP). This technology reshapes a firm's information processing, workflow, design and interpersonal interactions in fundamental ways. ERP applications affect everything a firm does. These integrated software packages provide real-time links across all of a firm's activities from order capture to accounting to procurement to material resource planning to production scheduling to human resource management to after-sales service. The functionality is so broad that a company typically replaces all of its legacy systems (autonomous software designed for specific functional areas) with a consolidated, integrated software system. A crucial question, then, is what can be done to ensure that ERP (or any widespread IT solution) enhances a firm's long-term competitive position, rather than improves operations at the expense of long-term strategic distinctiveness. This paper examines the strategic and organizational implications of using ERP technology to improve operating effectiveness and proposes ways to augment the benefits of ERP by creating platforms for organizational distinctiveness linked to social and intellectual capital. We begin with a brief overview of ERP and its intended strategic implications. We then use criteria offered in literature on the resource-based view of the firm (Amit and Schoemaker, 1993, Grant, 1991, Barney, 1991, Barney, 1995, Hamel and Prahalad, 1993 and Hamel and Prahalad, 1994) to assess the extent to which ERP itself meets the criteria of a resource having exceptional strategic utility. This is an important issue because as Barney (1991), Stalk et al. (1992) and others argue, a firm's unique bundle of strategically important resources and capabilities, and the firm-specific ways in which these internal assets are applied, often distinguish companies with sustained high performance from firms with less enviable track records. Next we use the emerging literature on chaos and complexity (e.g., Levy, 1994, Stacey, 1995, Stacey, 1996, McDaniel, 1997, Eisenhardt, 1989 and Wheatley, 1994) to evaluate the type of organization that ERP systems promote. This is a crucial issue because organizations that are able to function as complex, adaptive systems are better suited to compete in the high-velocity and turbulent knowledge economy. Even highly competent firms may be ineffective in competitive markets that require efficient agility if their internal processes do not allow them to develop new competencies quickly and change their behavior as they learn (Dierickx and Cool, 1989 and Teece et al., 1997). Based on these evaluations, it becomes apparent that an ERP system itself cannot provide a sustainable source of competitive advantage. However, the characteristics of ERP do offer a platform for enhancing a firm's social and intellectual capital in ways that can lead to effective and sustained advantages in the knowledge economy (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). We end with a series of propositions linking ERP system implementation with social capital, intellectual capital and competitive advantage.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In summary, ERP has the potential to either constrain or expand a fi rm ’ s strategic opportunities. The possibilities for improved competitive advantage seem to reside in how well the information system is integrated with the organization ’ s culture and learning capabilities. Integration is quite different from the approach recommended by many vendors who try to constrain a fi rm ’ s culture and employee roles to conform to ERP-based directives. To achieve long-term competitive advantage, fi rms must be able to do four things. One, they must leverage ERP connections to enhance the structural, relational and cognitive dimensions of their social capital. Two, they must be able to use their social capital to build their intellectual capital and thereby have a superior base of knowledge with which to compete. Three, fi rms must be able to transform their ERP systems to conform to new insights and subsequent changes in the social system. Fourth, fi rms need to be able to change their information systems to accommodate new avenues for competitive value that originate beyond operations activities. As Dillon (1999) explains, fl exible enterprises require ERP systems that enable mass customization of business practices so fi rms can develop and maintain operational and strategic distinctiveness. Further, ERP creates the potential for developing collaborative networks of fi rms to capitalize on global opportunities by uniting relevant people, technologies and ideas wherever they are located ( Hamel and Prahalad, 1994 ). Tapscott (1995) argues that information is the integrating force for today ’ s business organization. If the potential of integration through information is expanded to include individuals, suppliers, customers, complementary fi rms and related industries, then virtual corporations and networked industries can create a new arena for competition. ERP provides compelling advantages for operations including eliminating legacy system problems, and improved coordination and ef fi ciency in production. However, what happens when every fi rm in a competitive fi eld has achieved these bene fi ts? Is ERP bene fi cial to fi rms that are interested in fundamentally changing the basis for competition and how work is organized? Our analysis indicates that ERP does not provide a competitive advantage on its own, but that ERP does provide a platform for increasing social capital and intellectual capital which are sources of competitive advantage for fi rms competing in the knowledge economy. Further, we believe that if fi rms see ERP as an enabling technology rather than as an IT solution, they are more likely to create the organizational capabilities that encourage themto change ERP to conform to new insights and knowledge gained from ERP-generated information. This, too, we believe is a potential source of competitive advantage. By understanding how ERP information systems shape organization systems and by observing the competitive outcomes of ERP use, we can better understand and manage the organizational and strategic consequences of enterprise resource planning systems. The criteria described in this paper provide a basis for systematic observation and analysis. The propositions suggest some useful research avenues to pursue