The purpose of evaluating enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems ought to be to improve the systems' life cycles. In this paper, narratives are proposed as a means of improving ERP systems as a complement to traditional evaluation methods. The potential of narratives is that they can convey meanings, interpretations, and knowledge of the system, which may lead to action. Even though narratives belong to an interpretive research tradition, this paper takes a pragmatic view of evaluation on the basis of three assumptions about evaluation: evaluations should form the basis for action; narratives can make evaluation more relevant; and evaluations should be made with the purpose of improving selection, implementation and use of the system. The conclusion reached is that narratives can advance evaluation practice by providing a richer evaluation picture which conveys meanings not included in traditional evaluations, and improve the use of ERP systems by changing users' mental maps.
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