Reflections on issues of power in packaged software selection

Debra Howcroft, Ben Light

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The adoption of packaged software is becoming increasingly common in a. variety of organizations and much of the packaged software literature presents this as a straightforward, linear process based on rationalistic evaluation. This paper applies the framework of power relations developed by Markus and Bjørn-Andersen to a longitudinal study concerning the adoption of a customer relationship management package in a small organization. This is used to highlight both overt and covert power issues within the selection and procurement of the product and illustrate the interplay of power between senior management, information technology (IT) managers, IT vendors and consultants and end-users. The paper contributes to the growing body of literature on packaged software and also to our understanding of how power is deeply embedded within the surrounding processes. © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-235
Number of pages20
JournalInformation Systems Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Customer relationship management
  • IT consultants
  • IT vendors
  • Packaged software
  • Power
  • Software selection


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