Dispersed change agency and the improvisation of strategy during processes of change

Kathryn L. Charles, Patrick M. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) in a multinational corporation (MNC). It examines the notion of dispersed change agency and investigates the part played by different types of change teams, focusing on their roles, interactions and competencies. A processual research methodology was used in the collection of data through non-participant observation, face-to-face interviews (68), telephone interviews (3) and documentary evidence. Data collection occurred at four different geographical locations in Norway, Russia, Paris (MNC headquarters) and the UK. This article draws on data collected as part of the Paris case study. This was the location from where the ERP global implementation was coordinated by a specially created project team. A key finding centres on questioning conventional notions of leadership in highlighting the importance of dispersed change agency, clusters of competencies and development of best practices to facilitate the improvisation of strategy during processes of ERP change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-351
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Change Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • strategy
  • change agency
  • competency
  • improvisation
  • ERP


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