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Abstract

In this paper, we argue that one can understand the adoption and routine use of enterprise systems by examining the fit between the system and the social structures of the organization. We develop a model of the adoption and long- term use of enterprise systems based on sociological concepts (Lord Anthony Giddens’ structuration theory) rather than the usual cognitive psychology concepts. We focus on the adoption and use of three versions of an enterprise KMS to support sales representatives at a multinational pharmaceutical firm. Our first study (a five-year case study of the KMS that went through one failed deployment and two successful ones) shows that the structures of signification, legitimation, and domination all influence loyal use, although domination may be less important. Our second study (a survey of 893 users at the firm) shows that the structures of signification, legitimation, and domination explain about 50 percent of the variance in ongoing loyal use but that their relative importance depends on the job experience of the users: signification and legitimation influence novices more, and signification and domination influence experts more. We believe that this parsimonious three-factor model offers a useful approach for future research and practice.

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