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Fitting standard software to non-standard organisations

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neil Pollock, James Cornford


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This paper investigates the increasing trend within organisations and institutions of adopting pre-built, standardised management and administrative computer systems. The particular focus is on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in the context of higher education, and the further development of university specific functionality - the 'Campus Management' (CM) module. We investigate this software as it adapted to the needs of a university in the UK (whom we are calling 'Big_Civic) and a potential global market. Drawing on ideas from the sociology of science and technology we argue that in order to understand the 'dependability' and 'fit' (we tentatively conflate these two terms) of such systems we should attempt to study their 'biographies': this is the process of describing artefacts as they move around and are adapted and redefined according to the needs of each new place.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pollock N, Cornford J

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Applied Computing

Year of Conference: 2002

Pages: 721-725

Publisher: ACM Press