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Abstract

This paper is a case study which studies change management in the pilot study phase of the implementation of an ERP system. This system, when rolled out in its entirety, will affect all parts of the public service and all state departments of an unnamed African country. Amongst the challenges faced is the matrix structure of the public sector, with one department seen as the driver of this change. This wide scope means that particularly skillful change management is required. Nine factors that had previously been identified from research literature on change management, IS adoption models, and different people-centric approaches to change management, that relate specifically to issues concerning the people involved with or affected by the proposed changes, are used as the basis for engaging research participants familiar with the case being studied. This is done in order to verify the relevance of the factors in practice and to show relationships between the factors. The results show that perceptions of change vary widely amongst the people involved and, therefore, inflexible or standardized change management processes are inappropriate. In addition, it is found that where there is a need to implement the system as a modular process, change will be extensive and lengthy and change management practice must take the possibility of change fatigue into account. The organization and the individuals need to be assisted to adapt and accept ongoing change as a norm rather than seeking stable periods after planned disruptions.

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