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ERP-systems and job content: a case study of HR-assistants

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to gain insights into the effects of an enterprise resource planning (ERP)-implementation on job content. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Data are collected using a qualitative expert instrument (WEBA) and a questionnaire (NOVA-WEBA) among HR-assistants in a case study in the Dutch hospitality industry. Findings ‐ Contrary to what one might expect, the introduction of an ERP-system does not automatically result in a more centralized organization: in granting local authorizations user/employee job decision latitude is affected c.q. realized. However, even when a decentralization policy is pursued as is the case in our study, job decision latitude is not necessarily enhanced. This is partly caused by ERP-related changes such as increasing standardization of operational procedures and data entry requirements, and partly by organization-specific developments in how tasks get assigned to jobs. Research limitations/implications ‐ The configuration of ERP-systems varies by organization, and is largely a matter of organizational choice. The case is unique, as is indeed any case. Practical implications ‐ Insights into ERP's effects can help organizations achieve better designed jobs. Pre-implementation simulations of effects can help steering towards desired outcomes. Originality/value ‐ The paper provides useful insights into the effects of an ERP-implementation on job content through a case study of HR-assistants.

Keywords: Job descriptions; Resource management; Service industries; Systems analysis; The Netherlands

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 18, 2009


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