Purpose - To develop an analytical framework through which the organizational cultural dimension of enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations can be analyzed. Design/methodology/approach - This paper is primarily based on a review of the literature. Findings - ERP is an enterprise system that offers, to a certain extent, standard business solutions. This standardization is reinforced by two processes: ERP systems are generally implemented by intermediary IT organizations, mediating between the development of ERP-standard software packages and specific business domains of application; and ERP systems integrate complex networks of production divisions, suppliers and customers. Originality/value - In this paper, ERP itself is presented as problematic, laying heavy burdens on organizations - ERP is a demanding technology. While in some cases recognizing the mutual shaping of technology and organization, research into ERP mainly addresses the economic-technological rationality of ERP (i.e. matters of effectiveness and efficiency). We want to supplement and complement this perspective with a cultural approach. How do individuals in organizations define and experience ERP-standards? How and to what extent are management and working positions redefined in the process of developing and implementing ERP? In the paper, we highlight three perspectives from which ERP systems can be experienced, defined and analyzed. These perspectives are specified as the "constitution" of ERP, ERP as a "condition" of organizations, and the (unintended) "consequences" of ERP. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.