A Model for Enterprise Resource Planning Systems in the Higher Education Sector

A Model for Enterprise Resource Planning Systems in the Higher Education Sector

Abdallah Abu Madi (Coventry University, UK), Rami M. Ayoubi (Coventry University, UK) and Mohammad Alzbaidi (Coventry University, UK)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJEIS.2021070105
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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are complex systems that face a high probability of failure, which require careful development by university management. This study aims at exploring the application of ERP implementation life cycle processes in the context of the higher education sector (HEIs). The study employed a multiple case study approach and semi-structured interviews with a number of information system managers, and other professional services managers across three HEIs from Jordan. Results indicate that ERP implementation life cycle consists of three phases and eight stages. Updating six stages identified in previous research, this study suggests two additional major stages, namely “testing” and “go live.” The proposed model in this study can be used by senior management, technical, and academics as clear guidelines while adopting and implementing ERP in the HEIs. Little is known of the application of ERP implementation life cycle processes in the context of HEIs. The study makes a unique contribution in two facets: first, its application to the HEIs with its specific features in comparison to business sector; and second, the study suggests two additional major stages to the traditional phases model for ERP.
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1. Introduction

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) face challenges of globalisation and digitalisation in the new era. Implementation of ERP systems is one of the practical solutions to meet the challenges. However, there is a higher level of failure in ERP implementation in HEIs (Balakrishnan, 2019).

Different researchers have stated their perspective on the issues of ERP implementation. The case study conducted by Ahmad et al. (2015) throws the light on the most important category for the success of implementing ERP software, which is organisational components. Al-Sabri et al. (2018) also found that if an organisation has clarity in its organisational components, then it will contribute to a successful ERP implementation. Organisational planning of the ERP implementation is critical, being the success factor for any ERP implementation. One of the major reasons for the failure of ERP implementation in HEIs is poor project management (Balakrishnan, 2019; Taniguchi and Onosato, 2017; Badewi and Shehab, 2016). Preparation of the project points to an all-inclusive planning stage, where a project team must be formed, and that the team must set the project target, define the project objectives and plan accordingly. The blueprint phase allows the team to present a business process that has to be analysed at length to make sure a suitable ERP system is selected.

Investigation of ERP implementation in extant literature has mostly fallen into two main fields. One school of thought is about critical success factors contributing to user satisfaction (Ram et al., 2013). Therefore, performance of the individual is affected by their acceptance of IT and the individual impact can be attributed to system usage and user satisfaction. It was also observed that the introduction of IT in organisations had enhanced the productivity of individuals as well as their efficiency. The involvement of users positively influences the user satisfaction levels and usage of system by the end users (Wu and Wang, 2007). Hsu et al. (2015) identified: learning; effectiveness in decision-making; awareness and recall of skills and productivity, as important for the measurement of individual impact in an ERP implementation. Debates and controversies can be observed in the literature regarding the acceptance and resistance to change in respect of the individual impact on ERP success. According to Haddara and Moen (2017), resistance to change by the employees of an organisation is one of the critical success factors for ERP implementation, and many ERP projects have faced that challenge (Aladwani, 2001).

The other school of thought explores ERP implementation success from the project management perspectives (Holland et al. 1999). Comparatively, ERP implementation is successful if the project has a cautious, evolutionary, and bureaucratic implementation with the support of careful change management, networking of relationships, and cultural readiness (Reitsma and Hilletofth, 2018). ERP system implementation is not limited to changes in the software or hardware system but has the potential to provide an organisation with greater performance standards by restructuring the process of business (Ehie and Madsen, 2005). Eventually, the implementation of an ERP system changes the way a firm currently conducts business and needs to re-engineer or develop new, crucial business processes to achieve organisational goals (Badewi, 2016; Umble et al., 2003). ERP software customisation should be limited; the budget for implementing the ERP systems needs to be controlled.

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