Generative mechanisms of projects related to Enterprise Systems use in Bureaucracies: An embedded case study in a French hospital


  • Roxana OLOGEANU-TADDEI Montpellier Recherche Management



Enterprise system, Critical realism, Bureaucracy, Flexibility, Change


While previous literature has emphasized that bureaucracy may be an obstacle to the implementation and use of Enterprise Systems (ES), the link between these phenomena has not yet been conceptualized. This paper aims to investigate how bureaucracy intervenes in the achievement of projects related to the ES use. We aim to answer this question by using the concept of generative mechanisms to unpack the concept of bureaucracy and to apprehend its influence on the outcomes of three projects. We propose an explanation of the mitigated outcomes of these projects in a French hospital by emphasizing the role of two conflictual generative mechanisms: a bureaucratic mechanism and a flexibility mechanism. These mechanisms were identified using an embedded case study that focuses both on the actualization of the causal power of a new organizational entity and on the combination of mechanisms and contextual conditions that led to specific outcomes in each project. Moreover, our study shows that these projects are not related to the management of this implementation process but are linked to the use of ES, which may be considered as only one of the elements that interacts with other organizational, technological and environmental evolutions. We suggest understanding these projects as being ramifications of the use of ES. Future research may more deeply investigate the nature and the mechanisms of these kinds of projects in different organizational forms.


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Empirical research