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Abstract

Enterprise systems (ES) are industry-specific, customizable software packages that integrate information and business process in organizations. Despite the advantages associated with implementing ES, their success has been mixed. This has attracted the interest of researchers and resulted in a proliferation of literature on implementation. However, the extant ES studies lack a theoretical framework for the examination of ES use and its implications for change in organizations. We seek to bridge this research gap by proposing a theoretical framework for change induced through ES use. This paper contributes to theory in two areas. First, by analytically separating the notions of structure, institution, and organization, we illustrate a consistent application of Giddens' structuration theory to ES use. Second, we develop a structurational model of ES-induced change that explicates the relationship between specific characteristics of ES and the nature of change occasioned through their use by human agents within a historically shaped organizational context. Towards this objective, we distinguish ES from other information systems. Implications for practitioners and researchers are presented.

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