Digging into ERP projects

Report
Digging deeper into ERP
Leveraging the material to date
Analogy with Taylorism
• first attempt to systematically analyze
human behavior at work
• attempt to make organizations look like
machines – easier to fix and update
• look at interaction of human
characteristics, social environment, task,
and physical environment, capacity,
speed, durability, cost
• reduce human variability
The two levels of Taylorism
• Practical intelligence – workers
• Conceptual intelligence – managers
• Mediated by the administration function of
the firm
Principles of Scientific
management
• describe and bread down a task to its smallest
unit; science for each element of work
• restrict behavioral alternatives facing worker
• remove worker discretion in planning,
organizing, controlling
• use time and motion studies to find one best way
to do work
• provide incentives to perform job one best way tie pay to performance
• use experts (industrial engineers) to establish
various conditions of work
Impacts and problems
• new departments– industrial engineering, personnel, quality control
•
•
•
•
•
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growth in middle management
separation of planning from operations
rational rules and procedures
increase in efficiency
formalized management, mass production
human problems
– dehumanization of work; sabotage, group resistance,
hated by workers
IS and Taylorism
“One reason, then, that we expect top acceptance of information
technology is its implicit promise to allow the top to control the
middle just as Taylorism allowed the middle to control the bottom.”
Leavitt and Whisler (1958)
The computer and the new decision-making techniques associated
with it are bringing changes to white-collar, executive and professional
work as momentous as those that the introduction of machinery has
brought to manual jobs.
Simon (1977)
ERP is the closest we have come
• Earlier forms of systems have not had
such an impact on middle management
• No one has studied to what extent these
changes are positive
– Taylor has been somewhat discredited after
all
One must consider the impact of IT in terms of a "radical re-organisation
of middle management [...], with certain classes of middle management jobs
moving downward in status and compensation (because they will require less
autonomy and skill), while other classes move upward into the
top management group.“
Leavitt and Whisler (1958)
Parameters in ERP
implementations
• Integration
– Application
– Services
• Standardisation
And the two levels at play are:
Top management
– Business practices
• Centralisation
– Decision making
• Control
• Acceleration
– Information flows
– Business cycle
Users of ERP system:
Managers at local level /
Operators
• Cost reduction
It is very similar to Taylorism
Second degree impact
• Trivialisation of tasks
• Automation of decision making
• Middle managers should be monitoring How the
system is being used – system process versus
physical process
• How does this fundamentally affect the firm?
–
–
–
–
HRM / change management
Knowledge management / Know how
Responsiveness
What will the firm look like?
Two interpretations of the same
story…
• Software vendors are like the Sorcerer’s
Apprentice
– They created software that has dangerous side
effects
– Managers are ignorant of the impact they are having
when implementing ERP
• Software vendors have finally delivered on top
management everlasting dream of grinding the
firm to its simplest form.
– Top managers knowingly use ERP as Trojan horse for
imposing restructuring of a kind that would not be
acceptable otherwise.
So is ERP:
Or:
?
Evidence
Scenario 1:
• Case studies of reported problems – Hershey /
Whirlpool
• Belongs in the past?
• Scenario 2:
• Exemplar case studies – Microsoft / Erickson
• Modern scenario?

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