Two Articles on Information Systems

Introduction

This paper talks about information systems on a broad basis. The following paragraphs analyse the two articles namely, “Improving enterprise resource planning (ERP) fit organizational process through knowledge transfer”, by Eric T.G. Wang, Cathy Chia-Lin Lin, James J. Jiang, Gary Klein; and “Implications of the fit between organizational structure and ERP: A structural contingency theory perspective”, by: Neil A. Morton, and Qing Hu. The paper presents a critique of these afore-mentioned articles, providing judgments about the kind of information that these two sources constitute, thereby forming a basis to draw effective conclusions. This information represented through these sources highlights information systems and enterprise resource planning in particular; along with the latter’s use in organizations.

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What do these articles cover/similarities between the two articles?

The two articles discuss enterprise resource planning in detail and present and provide conclusions through comprehensive research also. Both the articles talk about enterprise resource planning and its relevance to business and its functioning in an orderly/ efficient manner in specific.

Enterprise resource planning, as is known provides through integration and software use, information inside an organization be easily available and accessible. It basically caters to business needs by providing within itself an information system that is used for coordination of resources, data and information, and other functioning related to the organization that either initiate or complete some sort of business activity; an example could be that of management of purchase/ sales orders.

I believe, in support of the two articles mentioned, that ERP systems are very beneficial to any organization where efficiency and effectiveness pertaining to its day-to-day functioning are involved. This is because it promotes connectivity in between different cross-sectional departments, data centres of each thereby and even caters to the top-level management through provision of updated, easily accessible and organized information.

Differences between the two articles

The first article on “Improving enterprise resource planning (ERP) fit organizational process through knowledge transfer” does have its differences with the other. In my opinion, this article generally portrays a fuller picture of how an organization-specific work can be influenced by an information system, like that of the enterprise resource planning system. Here, consultant or expert capabilities (on the part of the other resources involved besides information) has been mentioned as a variable correlated with the efficiency with the transmission of information that takes place through enterprise resource planning systems. This provides a good foundation to draw upon how well authority or professional authority can make use of ERP systems as opposed to the other article. (Wang, E.; Lin, C.; Jiang, J.; Klein, G., 13).

One other difference lies in the second variable involved, which I believe is also of great significance when looking at it from a business perspective. From the viewpoint of efficiency, these characteristics have been ignored it can be said so bluntly, in the other article about “Implications of the fit between organizational structure and ERP: A structural contingency theory perspective”. (Morton, N.; Hu, Q., 402).

Moreover, I could add to this by saying that yes the second article (as mentioned in the preceding paragraph as “Article two”, takes on duality as the basis in a change in information technology, as a promoter and result of any activity and action that takes related to IT in an organization. This article gives more importance to the role of IT in general, by stating that it plays a “dual role” by acting as a societal interaction mediator, as well as that of a collection of rules and guidelines that deal with the “how-to” question related to the birth, re-birth, alteration, etc of information. And these two roles according to this article pertain and revolve around the business functions in specific. The point of this article according to me is clear, while the first article talks about organizational action and functioning as its main steering point/ factor, the second article has given this position to the IT department itself, by making technology more powerful.

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What did I learn from these articles?

Article one and two both has taught me new things because I considered myself not too literate when it came to information technology and especially information systems, one of these being ERP systems that are. Moreover, now I am in a position to analyze the workings of an organization fairly well when the question of looking at all or some of its activities from an Information Technology point of view is concerned.

Also that, “Improving enterprise resource planning (ERP) fit organizational process through knowledge transfer” article, taught me how wide the base of IT is now, that it can and has been tested at a level in an organization, and of course with the passage of time, it is now to my knowledge that yes, it could also be tested at all levels in an organization in fact. (Wang, E.; Lin, C.; Jiang, J.; Klein, G., 13)

How can I as a manager use ERP in my management or business-related functions/activities

Enterprise resource planning could be done and incorporated as an information system by me when I would as a manager make use of such systems in decision-making processes. All information and data would hence be available in one place formed to quickly access and make use of. When in relation to specific departments, ERP could be used to make more efficient use of time among other resources. These departments are discussed below as pointed out in the article ‘What is ERP’.

Manufacturing and production: where operations are included like utilization of input resources which also cover raw material units etc. Henceforth, whenever there is for instance handling of raw material as cloth which is to be turned into a processed cloth then the manufacturing department’s manager/ head could make use of ERP systems to plan out efficiently and allocate units of inputs in a systematic responsible manner. Also, the workflow could be coordinated, bills could be paid and received, and the entire mechanized process of manufacturing managed through this.

Finance and Accounting department: here accounts receivable and payables, accounts of debtors and creditors, operating expenses and the entire cash flow could be managed.

Human Resources: HR could be managed with regards to payroll, attendance of employees etc. Also, if employees are to be inducted after hiring and trained in accordance with the kind of jobs that they had been hired for.

Supply chain management: here management of stocks in and out, minimum level and optimal level of inventory need to be maintained.

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Project management: here when for instance there is a project that needs to be handled like that of a new promotional campaign for a new product, then ERP systems could be used for management of time and costing, and other expenses etc.

Customer/Client relationships: there are many customer satisfaction forms, and surveys that are evaluated from the use of ERP systems. Also when the company has a department of calls making and direct contact calls/messages with the general public (consumers), then these can be handled through ERP.

Data handling: in general, database management and servers etc. could be analyzed also from the use of ERP programs.

Conclusions/ Opinions

Improving enterprise resource planning (ERP) fit organizational process through knowledge transfer I agree with the author/s when they/he says that how the base provided to technology through IS and IT can be broadened even further because science is a very dynamic field leading to constant even perpetual innovations/ testing/ adoptions. And, I also believe that in future, organizational policies could be designed and implemented while keeping such systems on the forefront, rather than by giving the latter a backseat.

The second article has taught me the success of an organization’s goals etc. And even overall success does not just have to do with profitability (which my lay-man concept was before I read these research papers). Now, I have a deeper understanding of the fact that there is much that an information system can contribute to an organization if its structure is a “good fit” or if it has always been built-in compatibility with IT, to deal with such rapid and long-impacting changes. Therefore, now I know that the stronger this link, the greater positivity for the success of the structure in itself and thereby as a whole unit. (Morton, N.; Hu, Q., 402).

Works Cited

Morton, N.; Hu, Q. Implications of the fit between organizational structure and ERP: A structural contingency theory perspective. (2008): 402

Wang, E.; Lin, C.; Jiang, J.; Klein, G. Improving enterprise resource planning (ERP) Fit to organizational process through knowledge transfer. (2007): 13

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TechFAQ. What is ERP? (2008).

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