Metaphorically Speaking, Does Culture Matter? 


This chapter is a qualitative research case study discussing the use of metaphors to analyse the organisational culture of a university department involved in a Human Resources Academic Administration Information Systems Implementation. The new system is part of a larger university-wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system implementation. Current literature suggests that organisational culture is impacted by information systems implementation and it is argued that the impact of the enterprise systems can result in a major cultural transformation that resets organisational values, meanings and beliefs. The metaphor of “organisations as cultures” is used to enable a better understanding of the department’s culture and the staff’s cultural attitudes toward the newly implemented ERP system. This investigation indicated that as a result of the implementation, the culture within the department did need to change to accommodate the new system and this is reflected through culturally symbolic artefacts, roles, values and beliefs (see Beekhuyzen, 2001 for more discussion of these topics). The metaphorical analysis of these culturally symbolic elements is presented in this chapter.