The Process of Cultural Alignment Within a Multicultural Context: The Case of ERP System Deployment Across Europe and Africa


  • Bajolle Eddy


  • Cultural alignment
  • Process
  • ERP system
  • Case study
  • Logistics service provider

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Culture plays a vital role in the acceptance and effective utilization of information technologies. As a value-laden artifact, information technology (IT), such an ERP system, is likely to introduce a counterculture in conflict with the implementing organization. Yet, how cultural alignment between IT and the implementing organization develops over time in a multicultural context is unknown. This research presents a dynamic process of cultural alignment, outlining the steps and events that lead to the alignment of cultural issues between an ERP system and the adopting organization at national, sectoral, organizational and group levels. Drawing on a longitudinal case study of a logistics service provider’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system deployment, we show that cultural alignment involves four key steps – requirement analysis, ERP selection, cultural misfit resolution and user testing – that are strongly influenced by technical, operational and organizational constraints. Our findings contribute to the understanding of the dynamic and intricate nature of the cultural alignment process, involving both the organization and technology.

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