Do manufacturing firms need informality in ERP post-implementation? A study of Chinese manufacturing sites


Purpose - Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are limited due to their operation around a fixed design production process and a fixed lead time to production plan and purchasing plan. The purpose of this paper is to define the concept of informality and to describe the notion of a system combining informality and ERP systems, based on empirical research from four manufacturing case studies. Design/methodology/approach - The case studies present a range of applications of ERP and are analysed in terms of the three characteristics of informality, namely, organisation structure, communication method and leadership approach. Findings - The findings suggest that systems consisting of informality in combination with ERP systems can elicit knowledge fromfrontlineworkers leading to timely improvements in the system. This is achieved by allowing users to modify work procedures or production orders, and to support collaborative working among all employees. However it was found that informality is not required for manufacturers with a relatively stable environment who can deal with uncertainty with a proactive strategy. Research limitations/implications - This study was carried out in China, with four companies as unit of analysis. Future work can help to extend this study across countries. Originality/value - The use of Four dimensions of informality that relate to manufacturers implementing ERP are defined as "technology in practice", "user flexibility", "trusted human networks" and "positive reaction to uncertainty". This is a new construct not applied before to ERP implementations.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Uncontrolled Keywords: China,enterprise resource planning,hybrid model,informality,Computer Science Applications,Software,Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering,Control and Systems Engineering,Strategy and Management
Publication ISSN: 1758-7786
Last Modified: 20 May 2024 07:15
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2016 13:20
Full Text Link: http://www.emer ... TM-09-2015-0077
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Special issue
Published Date: 2016-01
Accepted Date: 2015-11-18
Submitted Date: 2015-09-16
Authors: Wang, Yucan
Greasley, Andrew (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-6413-3978)
Albores, Pavel (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7509-9381)



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Repository staff only


Version: Accepted Version

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