Job Characteristics and Job Satisfaction:

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Morris & Venkatesh/The Role of ERP System Implementation


JOB CHARACTERISTICS AND JOB SATISFACTION: UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION1 By: Michael G. Morris McIntire School of Commerce University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22904 U.S.A. Viswanath Venkatesh Walton College of Business University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR 72701 U.S.A.

Keywords: ERP systems, job characteristics, job satisfaction, technology adoption, system implementation

One of the most pervasive organizational change activities in the last decade or so has been the implementation of enterprise-wide information technologies, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, that account for 30 percent of all major change activities in organizations today (Davenport 2000; Jarvenpaa and Stoddard 1998; see also Herold et al. 2007). Some estimates suggest that ERP adoption is as high as 75 percent among medium to large manufacturing companies, 60 percent among service companies, and up to 80 percent among Fortune 500 firms (META Group 2004). ERP system implementations typically involve an extensive redesign of business processes and the deployment of new software to support those new business processes (Robey et al. 2002; Ross and Vitale 2000). Compared to the implementation of simpler technologies often studied in prior individual-level research (for a review, see Venkatesh et al. 2003), the implementation of ERP systems cause greater change with broader impacts on employees, fundamentally changing the nature of tasks, workflows, and, by extension, the jobs themselves (Davenport et al. 1996; Liang et al. 2007; Mullarkey et al. 1997). The importance of understanding ERP-initiated organizational change is evidenced by data indicating that the percentage of ERP failures is over 60 percent (Devadoss and Pan 2007; Langenwalter 2000) as well as trade press reports showing that half of the top-10 IT failures of all time are ERP systems from market-leading vendors, with losses ranging from $6 million to well over

Little research has examined the impacts of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems implementation on job satisfaction. Based on a 12-month study of 2,794 employees in a telecommunications firm, we found that ERP system implementation moderated the relationships between three job characteristics (skill variety, autonomy, and feedback) and job satisfaction. Our findings highlight the key role that ERP system implementation can have in altering wellestablished relationships in the context of technology-enabled organizational change situations. This work also extends research on technology diffusion by moving beyond a focus on technology-centric outcomes, such as system use, to understanding broader job outcomes.


Carol Saunders was the accepting senior editor for this paper.

MIS Quarterly Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 143-161/March 2010


Morris & Venkatesh/The Role of ERP System Implementation

$100 million (e.g., Nash 2000). The importance of the ERP industry to the professional information systems community is further underscored by projections indicating that it will be a $47.6 billion industry by 2011 (Jacobsen et al. 2007). Thus, framed against calls in the academic literature to theorize richly about specific contexts of change (Herold et al. 2007; see also Johns 2006), there is little doubt that ERP system implementation represents an important context worthy of study in IS research (e.g., Estevez and Bohorquez 2005; Gattiker and Goodhue 2005; Liang et al. 2007). Although underutilized systems continue to be a problem, there has been remarkable progress in illuminating the psychological mechanisms leading to initial acceptance and continued use decisions by employees (for a review, see Venkatesh et al. 2003). However, given the maturity of research on technology adoption, some have suggested...
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