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Leading global IT-enabled change across cultures
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2012 (English)In: European Management Journal, ISSN 0263-2373, E-ISSN 1873-5681, Vol. 30, no 4, 340-351 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores, from a practice-based departure, the question of how global companies lead IT-enabled transformation across cultures. The paper examines the change management practices incorporated by the leading telecommunications company Ericsson in the transformation of its finance and accounting (F&A) unit. The findings suggest that a practice-based culture can make global transformation projects easier to accomplish, and that IT can reinforce such a culture. However, the findings also shows how the intangible structure of practice-based culture and the tangible structure IT supplies a foundation to build on, but require additional resources that are more situated, social and human oriented to be successful. Overall this paper offers a new perspective of IT-enabled change across cultures by developing the analytical concepts of common ground, common meaning and common interest.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 30, no 4, 340-351 p.
Keyword [en]
case study, culture, IT-enabled change, transformation, global organisational change, change management, practice-based perspective.
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-119622DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2011.12.002ISI: 000306883600005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-119622DiVA: diva2:300553
Available from: 2010-02-26 Created: 2010-02-26 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Leading IT-Enabled Change Inside Ericsson: A Transformation Into a Global Network of Shared Service Centres
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Leading IT-Enabled Change Inside Ericsson: A Transformation Into a Global Network of Shared Service Centres
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to explore—from a managerial perspective—how IT-enabled change is designed, led, and sustained from-within an organisation. This is an issue of central concern because there is a considerable lack of research that directly incorporates IT in management and organisational change studies. In addition, earlier research has recurrently focused on abstract theorising, aggregated perspectives, and exploring organisational change from the outside, from-without. Consequently, the present body of research provides limited knowledge of how organisations in practice lead large-scale IT-enabled transformations.

The thesis herein sets out to explore this question, and does so by following the change designers and agents of the telecommunications company Ericsson, that transformed its finance and accounting unit from a highly decentralised structure into a shared service centre structure (SSC) entitled: “The Global F&A Transformation Programme”. The formal transformation lasted three years, was enabled by an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and was driven in the majority of Ericsson’s sub-units situated in more than 140 countries.

Theoretically, this thesis addresses the research question: how do actors and structures influence large-scale IT-enabled change? The principal finding of the thesis is a four-stage analytical framework built on the concepts of common ground, common meaning, common interest, and common behaviour: The Commonality Framework for IT-enabled Change. The value of the framework is that it depicts the interplay between actors and structures on a micro-level. In doing so, the framework explains the different levels of complexity in a transformation and how they require different structures to be used, different activities to be performed, different skills to be applied, and different roles to be played. The framework can be used by both academics and practitioners to develop, assess, and improve IT-enabled change projects.

In a broader perspective, the findings further suggest that change comes about as an upward spiral, within which the moving targets of IT and organisation are intimately interconnected. This reciprocal interconnectedness between IT and organisation across time implies that if changes are done to technological properties, this necessitates changes to the organisational properties, and vice versa. Organisations at the hands-on-level more or less have to change to make use of the IT-enabled advantages. Thus, successful IT-enabled change is more than the technology artefact per se, and requires thoughtful attentiveness not only to the technological and material side, but also to the organisational, social and human side of change.

The theoretical contribution of this thesis is the in-depth exposition of different aspects and interplays between the properties of actors and structures from-within the organisation. The empirical contribution is the description of how contemporary multinational organisations initiate, lead, and sustain large-scale IT-enabled change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Business Studies, 2010. 116 p.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 146
Keyword
IT-enabled change, global organisational change, ERP, shared service centre, change agent, actor, structure, practice.
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-119624 (URN)
Public defence
2010-03-30, Hall 2, Centre for Social Sciences (Ekonomikum), Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
The provided document is only the summary and introductory chapter of the thesis (i.e. excluding the five papers). If you want more information about the thesis as a whole please contact the author einar.iveroth@fek.uu.se.Available from: 2010-03-04 Created: 2010-02-26 Last updated: 2010-03-04Bibliographically approved

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