1 Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 MAPP - Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
The topic of the research project is to investigate how new Internet-related information technologies such as EDI/SAP/CRM are implemented in Danish food processing companies. A recently published report on "IT in praxis 2001" by PLS RAMBØLL Management A/S contains a survey of the Danish private and public sector in which 33% of the private companies report problems with lacking goals and strategies for the companies' use of IT and 47% report problems with inadequate adjustment of structures and work processes during implementation of new IT (www.it-i-praksis.dk). It is assumed in the paper that the Danish food processing companies to some extent mirror the general findings in the "IT in praxis 2001" report. The purpose of the thesis is to describe how the technological decision making processes of companies lead to investment in new information technologies and to investigate how new information technology systems are implemented into the organisations. Research by Porac, Thomas and Baden-Fuller (1989) and Rindova and Fombrun (1999) suggests that the organisational sensemaking processes and actions concerning technology investments affect the organisational competitiveness. The PLS RAMBØLL Management A/S report suggest that 49% of the private companies with an explicit IT strategy reports a substantially heightened effectivity after an IT implementation process, compared to only 33% of the respondents without an explicit IT strategy reporting the same. In the research project, the sensemaking processes leading to the organisational technological investment strategies will be investigated to gain a better understanding of the organisational, noticing, interpretation and action processes on cues concerning new technologies (Weick, 1995). Current research in technology implementation processes shows that the implementation of new technologies affect organisational routines/structures/social relationships/power relations/dependencies and alter organisational roles (Barley 1986; 1990, Burkhardt & Brass, 1990, Kling 1991, Orlikowski 2000). It also demonstrates that technology is a flexible variable that is adapted to the organisation's identity, culture, climate and management philosophy, thus leading to different uses and outcomes of the same technology in different organisations (Barley 1986; 1990; Orlikowski 2000). Viewing the use of information technology as a process of enactment opens up for investigating the social processes of interpreting new information technology into the organisation (Orlikowski 2000). The scope of the research project will therefore be to gain a deeper understanding of the sensemaking processes leading to competitive advantages through technological investments in and the implementation of new information technology systems. This leads to the following research questions; - Do firms interpret and act differently strategically upon the IT cues in their environment, dependent on their organisational identity and image? and why? - Do the implementation of the same IT system gives different results depending on the organisations sensemaking processes? and why?
MAPP; Sensemaking; IT systems interpretation; Implementering; Informationsteknologi; Valg; Implementation; Information technology; Choice