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Using bricolage to facilitate emergent collectives in SMEs

Jan Devos (UGent) , Hendrik Van Landeghem (UGent) and Dirk Deschoolmeester (UGent)
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Abstract
Starting a new business is often done in a realm of improvisation if resources are scarce and the business horizon is far from clear. Strategic improvisation occurs when the design of novel activities unite. We conducted an investigation of so called ‘emergent collectives’ in the context of a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME). Emergent collectives are networks of information nodes with minimal central control and largely controlled by a protocol specification where people can add nodes to the network and have a social incentive to do so. We considered here emergent collectives around an enterprise resources planning (ERP) software and a customer relation management (CRM) software in two open source software (OSS) communities. We investigated how the use of bricolage in the context of a start-up microenterprise can facilitate the adoption of an information system (IS) based on emergent collectives. Bricolage is an improvisational approach that allows learning form concrete experience. In our case study we followed the inception of a new business initiative up to the implementation of an IS, during a period of two years. The case study covers both the usefulness of bricolage for strategic improvisation and for entrepreneurial activity in a knowledge-intensive new business. We adopted an interpretative research strategy and used participatory action research to conduct our inquiry. Our findings lead to the suggestion that emergent collectives can be moulded into a usable set of IS resources applicable in a microenterprise. However the success depends heavily on the ICT managerial and technological capabilities of the CEO and his individual commitment to the process of bricolage. Our findings also show that open ERP and CRM software are not passing delusions. These emergent collectives will not take over proprietary ERP and CRM software all of a sudden, but clearly the rules of the game are slowly changing due to the introduction of new business models. The study contributes to the research of OSS as emergent collectives, bricolage and IS adoption in SMEs.
Keywords
Open Software, Emergent Collectives, Bricolage, ERP, CRM, SMEs, IS adoption

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Devos, Jan, Hendrik Van Landeghem, and Dirk Deschoolmeester. “Using Bricolage to Facilitate Emergent Collectives in SMEs.” 6th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, Proceedings. 2012. Print.
APA
Devos, J., Van Landeghem, H., & Deschoolmeester, D. (2012). Using bricolage to facilitate emergent collectives in SMEs. 6th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, Proceedings. Presented at the 6th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation (ECIME - 2012).
Chicago author-date
Devos, Jan, Hendrik Van Landeghem, and Dirk Deschoolmeester. 2012. “Using Bricolage to Facilitate Emergent Collectives in SMEs.” In 6th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, Proceedings.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Devos, Jan, Hendrik Van Landeghem, and Dirk Deschoolmeester. 2012. “Using Bricolage to Facilitate Emergent Collectives in SMEs.” In 6th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, Proceedings.
Vancouver
1.
Devos J, Van Landeghem H, Deschoolmeester D. Using bricolage to facilitate emergent collectives in SMEs. 6th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, Proceedings. 2012.
IEEE
[1]
J. Devos, H. Van Landeghem, and D. Deschoolmeester, “Using bricolage to facilitate emergent collectives in SMEs,” in 6th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, Proceedings, Cork, Ireland, 2012.
@inproceedings{2303932,
  abstract     = {Starting a new business is often done in a realm of improvisation if resources are scarce and the business horizon is far from clear. Strategic improvisation occurs when the design of novel activities unite. We conducted an investigation of so called ‘emergent collectives’ in the context of a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME). Emergent collectives are networks of information nodes with minimal central control and largely controlled by a protocol specification where people can add nodes to the network and have a social incentive to do so. We considered here emergent collectives around an enterprise resources planning (ERP) software and a customer relation management (CRM) software in two open source software (OSS) communities. We investigated how the use of bricolage in the context of a start-up microenterprise can facilitate the adoption of an information system (IS) based on emergent collectives. Bricolage is an improvisational approach that allows learning form concrete experience. In our case study we followed the inception of a new business initiative up to the implementation of an IS, during a period of two years. The case study covers both the usefulness of bricolage for strategic improvisation and for entrepreneurial activity in a knowledge-intensive new business. We adopted an interpretative research strategy and used participatory action research to conduct our inquiry. Our findings lead to the suggestion that emergent collectives can be moulded into a usable set of IS resources applicable in a microenterprise. However the success depends heavily on the ICT managerial and technological capabilities of the CEO and his individual commitment to the process of bricolage. Our findings also show that open ERP and CRM software are not passing delusions. These emergent collectives will not take over proprietary ERP and CRM software all of a sudden, but clearly the rules of the game are slowly changing due to the introduction of new business models. The study contributes to the research of OSS as emergent collectives, bricolage and IS adoption in SMEs.},
  author       = {Devos, Jan and Van Landeghem, Hendrik and Deschoolmeester, Dirk},
  booktitle    = {6th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, Proceedings},
  keywords     = {Open Software,Emergent Collectives,Bricolage,ERP,CRM,SMEs,IS adoption},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Cork, Ireland},
  pages        = {15},
  title        = {Using bricolage to facilitate emergent collectives in SMEs},
  year         = {2012},
}