A biography: fabrications in the life of an ERP package

Joanne Locke*, Alan D. Lowe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides an account of the way Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems change over time. These changes are conceptualized as a biographical accumulation that gives the specific ERP technology its present character, attributes and historicity. The paper presents empirics from the implementation of an ERP package within an Australasian organization. Changes to the ERP take place as a result of imperatives which arise during the implementation. Our research and evidence then extends to a different time and place where the new release of the ERP software was being 'sold' to client firms in the UK. We theorize our research through a lens based on ideas from actor network theory (ANT) and the concept of biography. The paper seeks to contribute an additional theorization for ANT studies that places the focus on the technological object and frees it from the ties of the implementation setting. The research illustrates the opportunistic and contested fabrication of a technological object and emphasizes the stability as well as the fluidity of its technologic. Copyright © 2007 SAGE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-814
Number of pages22
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • actor network theory (ANT)
  • biography
  • case study
  • ERP (enterprise resource planning)
  • qualitative research


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