Enterprise Resource Planning, Operations and Management: Enabling and Constraining ERP and the Role of the Production and Operations Manager

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose – This research aims to explore the enabling and constraining effects of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and speculate on how these can be linked to the four generic roles of operations management (OM) proposed by Slack et al.

Design/methodology/approach – This research understands ERP as boundary objects characterised by modularity, abstraction, accommodation, and standardization. An in-depth cross-disciplinary literature review and role synthesis is conducted.

Findings – Four enabling and three constraining effects of ERP are deduced from existing literature. ERP and OM are linked conceptually. Based on the identified effects of ERP, the paper speculates on the managerial tasks of the production and operations manager (POM) in an ERP environment and lists a set of central concerns of potential relevance to POM and to future research.

Research limitations/implications – The identified roles of ERP and their implications could be empirically tested using case based and survey research.

Practical implications – The results provide insights into how ERP has multiple and parallel roles, and how these roles are relevant to the function of OM. Such knowledge is valuable for practicing POMs in managing the implementation and design of ERP to support the different domains of OM.

Originality/value – Current studies of the effects of ERP and their link to the practice of OM tend to focus on one or a few roles of the emerging system. Such studies do not properly take into account the modularised and pluralistic nature of ERP. This research provides a platform from where future research on the effects, managerial dilemmas and implications of ERP can be reconciled across research communities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1075-1104
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Enterprise Resource Planning Systems
  • Literature Review
  • Boundary Objects
  • Role of the Production and Operations Manager
  • Enabling and Constraining Effects

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