Purpose This paper aims to uncover how implementation practices affect the unfolding of integration as the ideal of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. In this way, the authors aim to provide a better understanding of the ways in which the ideal of integration affects the complexity of ERP systems.
Design/methodology/approach This paper interprets a case study of the implementation of an ERP system in a Dutch company.
Findings The paper highlights how different variations of an object of integration were enacted during an ERP implementation. The authors observe how the interests of the various actors were not always served by the variations of integration in circulation. They illustrate how this resulted in a failure of the network to be folded into a taken-for-granted configuration of constituent parts. Consequentially, having multiple variations of integration contributed to increased complexity of the system.
Originality/value The paper highlights how multiple variations of a single object of integration are brought into circulation. Such perspective enables a better understanding of some of the complexities associated with ERP implementations.