Symmetry in Social Construction during ERP Implementation: A Systems Security Perspective
AbstractThe principle of symmetry in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems implementation holds that the researcher should deploy impartial explanation in cases of success as in cases of failure. This article examines the symmetry intrinsic in social construction within the various stages of the ERP development life cycle, from initiation to implementation. Discourse on symmetry focuses on whether social constructs are able to influence ERP implementation positively (success) or negatively (failure) and whether this exposes ERP systems to information security risk. The theoretical lens of social construction of technology (SCOT) theory, a theory premised on social interaction between agents and technology artefacts, is applied for this purpose. The research was quantitative with a survey having been conducted on information technology (IT) and information security (IS) practitioners. Results of the study highlight the significant role social construction plays because of the direct linkage it has with the implementation of information security controls in ERP systems. The research delineated five social constructs, namely positional influence, reward influence, coercive influence, expert influence and referent influence. For purposes of this research and on the sampling criteria applied, the construct ‘expert influence’, a typology of social construction, is shown to be more domineering than other typologies of social construction and is seen as providing symmetrical balance between governing ERP security (success) and risk (failure). Implications of these results for theory and practice are discussed in the main article.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).