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Proceedings of JAIS Theory Development Workshop


We anchor our study of an ERP implementation in the verbatim words of a Registrar at a major University. Building on an earlier work, we explore six approaches to analyse the text. The first three are referred to as the textual realm and examine issues such as the veracity of the original text (textual criticism), the meaning of words and phrases (literary criticism) and the purpose and genre of the text (literary criticism). The second three comprise the social realm and here we look at the history, context, process and outcomes described or implied by the text (historical criticism), the traditions and practices of the community from which the text was obtained (form criticism) and the influence of the author in constructing the text (redaction criticism). Using the hermeneutical circle, we write and re-write the meanings we see in the text and in particular suggest the influence of the management elite in using the heavily modified ERP system to inscribe their vision of how the university should be managed and controlled. The paper ends with suggestions about recovering the meaning of the text, uncovering hidden meanings in the text and discovering new meanings and applications of the text.