Sensemaking in Enterprise Resource Planning Project Deescalation: An Empirical Study
15 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2013 Last revised: 26 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 20, 2013
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects are very challenging and expensive to implement. Past research recognizes that escalation, defined as the commitment to a failing course of action, is common in such projects. While the factors that contribute to escalation have been extensively examined, the literature on deescalation of projects is very limited. Therefore, this research examines deescalation, defined as breaking the commitment to a failing course of action, of an ERP project. This study is organized as a case study of a complex ERP project that was undertaken after a merger of two organizations. It examines how the project team members’ sensemaking is implicated in deescalation. Applying sensemaking as a theoretical lens, this engaged management scholarship research contributes to practice by providing recommendations on how to better manage ERP project deescalation. It contributes to theory by providing a nuanced understanding of ERP project deescalation through project team members’ sensemaking activities.
Keywords: Deescalation, engaged management scholarship, enterprise resource planning, project management, sensemaking
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