BRINGING THE ENTERPRISE SYSTEM TO THE FRONTLINE- INTERTWINING COMPUTERISED AND CONVENTIONAL COMMUNICATION AT BT EUROPE
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This paper draws on the need to understand how mobile technology is implemented and used at the organisational level. IT is a general-purpose technology and therefore its use involves a high degree of uncertainty and ambiguity. Moreover, IT vendors and system developers tend to be very unambiguous in their rhetoric about mobile technology opportunities. Therefore, managers have trouble to identify the real scope, the functionality and the impact of new mobile applications. However, these three types of uncertainties need to be handled in change management projects where new information technology is involved. Gradual uncertainty reduction at these three different levels, i.e. what technology can do; will technology work; and will users adopt it, is studied in this paper. This is achieved through an analysis of the implementation process of an information system where mobile terminals are used to give service technicians access to the ERP system at BT Europe, a leading supplier of forklift trucks. The analysis shows how the three levels of uncertainty interact, and how the computerised parts of the information system are complemented by mindful intertwining with the non-computerised communication and manual data processing, in order for the information system to work.