The Mediating Role of Absorptive Capacity in Knowledge Transfer: ERP Implementations in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Sub-Sahara Africa

Femi Adisa, Jeremy Rose

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    Abstract

    Knowledge transfer between consultants and organizational users influences the outcomes of an Enterprise Resource System (ERP) implementation. Configuration and implementation tasks are dependent on generating some level of shared understanding of both business practices and technology. These problems become acute in implementations in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs often operate with non-standard business processes, making an effective interchange of process knowledge between consultants and end-users crucial. Using a multiple case study method and content analysis, the authors investigate the mediating role of absorptive capacity in knowledge transfer in SMEs ERP implementations. They present exploratory case studies from 3 Nigerian companies with varying outcomes, and hypothesize that knowledge transfer is complicated by acute information asymmetry, absence of pre-existing related knowledge and consequent difficulties in developing a shared understanding, and by a tendency to operate with lone consultants and lone organizational representatives.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Enterprise Information Systems
    Volume9
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    ISSN1548-1115
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

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