Management Information Systems Quarterly


In this paper, we develop a theoretical explanation of first-order and second-order responses to enterprise system (ES) implementations, highlighting how these responses are influenced by pluralistic institutional logics in combination with the relative power of organizational actors. Enterprise systems span entire organizations and are congruent with some institutional logics and incongruent with others. Existing research emphasizes various elements of congruence or power in understanding local reactions to an enterprise system, and this existing research generally focuses on immediate post-implementation dynamics. We develop a framework that integrates and extends this work and highlights how congruence, combined with the pressures brought to bear, influence user responses to the ES implementation such as resistance, loose coupling, faithful appropriation, or co-opting. We validate the framework through a qualitative meta-analysis of 26 case studies of ES implementations, and further extend the initial framework to explain both initial responses to an enterprise system implementation (first-order responses) and responses over time to ongoing activity (second-order responses). We distinguish between two forms of resistance: congruent resistance and institutional resistance. Congruent resistance can be overcome to attain eventual faithful appropriation by training the users or refining the system. Institutional resistance, in contrast, is borne out of incongruent logics and will likely result in sustained loose coupling or eventual abandonment. The framework highlights the institutional pressure brought to bear during ES implementation, and the relative power of organizational actors involved in the back-and-forth of first-order and second-order responses.