Knowing a few rules doesn't mean you can play the game:The limits of "best practice" in enterprise systems


We examine the common claim that "best practices" are encompassed and represented in Enterprise Systems (ES). We suggest that an ES can at best only represent the ostensive and not the performative elements of work tasks. Thus, representation of best practice in an ES does not take practical action into account. This has two important implications. First, ostensive abstractions of best practice in an ES are a sparse and superficial representation of a "good" business process, at a specific moment in time. Second, the practical understanding required for performance is often ignored in the ostensive representation of best practice in the implementation of an ES. This constrains user and business adaptability. Inflexible coding of ostensive business tasks furthermore leads to rigidity where flexibility should be sought, to keep on top of the competition. Implications and directions for further research are discussed.

Divisions: Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
Aston Business School
Additional Information: This material is brought to you by the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) at AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). It has been accepted for inclusion in AMCIS 2008 Proceedings by an authorized administrator of AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). For more information, please contact
Event Title: 14th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2008
Event Type: Other
Event Dates: 2008-08-14 - 2008-08-17
Uncontrolled Keywords: Best practice,Enterprise systems,Ostensive,Practical action,Task performance,Computer Science Applications,Computer Networks and Communications,Library and Information Sciences,Information Systems
ISBN: 9781605609539
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://aisel.a ... /amcis2008/371/ (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Conference contribution
Published Date: 2008-12-01
Authors: Devadoss, Paul R.
Chiasson, Mike W.
van Daalen Fuente, Roger F.A.



Version: Accepted Version

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