Working around ERPs in technological universities

Simon Kitto, Vaughan Higgins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    This article explores the work-arounds through which an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system is implemented within an Australian University. We argue that while resistance is significant, the process of working around a technology can have ambiguous effects in terms of how users'in this case academics'are governed and govern themselves. Drawing upon Andrew Barry's Foucauldian-inspired work on ''technological zones,'' we show how attempts to work-around the ERP contributed to the creation of an alternative technological zone based on cultural discourses of academic freedom aimed at resisting the standardized programs of action inscribed within the university-wide ERP. However, we demonstrate also that these work-arounds resulted in a partial convergence with the university's advanced liberal objectives of going online to become a globally competitive university. We conclude that more research needs to be conducted into the multiple and ambiguous effects of work-arounds in the practice of governing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-54
    Number of pages26
    JournalScience Technology and Human Values
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


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