This paper analyzes the first ERP implementation projects within a prestigious US university, an initiative that opened organizational ‘doors’ to multiple unknowns whose presence challenged system localization efforts and involved the University in ‘trials of strength’. Through an interpretive field study, we analyse narrative accounts of change that were produced during the software project initiative. These stories highlight in situ moments of negotiation amongst individuals and groups as they worked to localize a system that would provide an integrated, enterprise-wide platform whilst being flexible enough to meet the needs of faculty and administrators. The power of ERP technology to embed standardized business models within organizations has generated case research illustrating the power of the technology to dominate the change process. We employ a temporally sensitive actor-network perspective in order to highlight the progressive nature of change during which local work practices are negotiated into the priorities of powerful networks
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