European Journal of Information Systems

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 584–598 | Cite as

Implementing packaged enterprise software in multi-site firms: intensification of organizing and learning

  • Paul C van Fenema
  • Otto R Koppius
  • Peter J van Baalen
Special Section Article


Packaged enterprise software, in contrast with custom-built software, is a ready-made mass product aimed at generic customer groups in a variety of industries and geographical areas. The implementation of packaged software usually leads to a phase of appropriation and customization. As the associated processes remain ill understood, particularly for multi-site implementations, the objective of this paper is to understand the impact of packaged software in a multi-site organization. Adopting a case study method, this paper reports on a multi-site project that was analyzed at the group, site, and corporate level. Our findings suggest that as organizational units face the unsettling experience of having to implement a single source code across globally distributed sites, packaged software intensifies organizing and learning processes across these levels. The paper identifies specific processes for these levels and concludes with implications for research and practice. Our research extends IS research on packaged software implementation with an emphasis on multi-site firms.


packaged software organizing learning multi-site firms global projects 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul C van Fenema
    • 1
  • Otto R Koppius
    • 2
  • Peter J van Baalen
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Military Sciences, Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA)BredaThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Decision and Information SciencesRSM Erasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Decision and Information SciencesRSM Erasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

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