eCite Digital Repository

Working around ERPs in Technological Universities


Kitto, S and Higgins, V, Working around ERPs in Technological Universities, Science, Technology and Human Values, 35, (1) pp. 29-54. ISSN 0162-2439 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1177/0162243908329535


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:online learning technology, universities
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology and social studies of science and technology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Higgins, V (Professor Vaughan Higgins)
ID Code:138175
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-03-26
Last Modified:2020-08-31

Repository Staff Only: item control page