Investigating Successful Enterprise Resource Planning Implementation in Higher Education Institutions

  • Dr. Abdallah Abu Madi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis investigates the successful implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs). ERP is a business management system that has emerged to support organisations with a system of integrated applications to enhance their Information Technology (IT) infrastructures, enhance business processes and deliver a high quality of services. Research indicates limited success for implementing numerous ERP ventures and failure rates estimated between 60% and 90%. The failure of ERP implementation in higher education institutions (HEIs) worldwide is much higher in comparison to other sectors, such as banking or manufacturing, yet limited research has been conducted on this issue. There is a lack of sufficient knowledge, expertise and training to implement such sophisticated integrated systems and top management lacks the ability to take appropriate decisions for ERP implementation. However, merely focusing on several factors influencing ERP implementation may not suffice, as there is a need for a systematic decision-making process for adopting and implementing ERP systems in HEIs. The limited number of ERP applications being used in HEIs has resulted in inadequate research and many issues which require further exploration. Despite this, all the implications for successful implementation of ERP systems have yet to be assessed in HEIs, making it a relevant area for study and creating a need for a unique piece of research work. Thus, the researcher demonstrates that it is of high importance to investigate this area and contribute towards successful ERP implementations.

The present study adopted an interpretivist research philosophy and the approach was inductive in nature. To collect the data from the selected case studies, a semi structured interview protocol was designed in accordance with the research objectives which was aimed at getting the views and opinions of both the higher management personnel as well as technical level staff from the selected sample of universities. The study was focused on the implementation of ERP systems for higher education institutions in Jordan. Jordan has the highest demand for higher education in the region and the number of enrolments is growing annually. The demand for ERP systems in Jordan is rising owing to the rapid growth of the Internet and mobile users and the increase in the literacy rate. The content analysis technique was used supported by NVivi11 software to process the data gathered from the sample. The key success factors identified from the participants were split into technical, organizational, project and project support categories. This research made several contributions to knowledge. These included 1) the identification and characterisation of three new sector and context-specific KSFs, namely: the selection of the right ERP system; the need for qualified IT staff for in-house maintenance and fair vendor relations. 2) The development of a framework for enhancing ERP implementation. 3) Evaluation measures of ERP performance from an organisational, technical, project, and project support system perspective. 4) Development of a synthesized model that contains mapped and prioritised KSFs on the ERP implementation lifecycle based on their importance for successful implementation.

In addition to these reflected theoretical contributions, this research also highlights the implications on the practices of higher education institutes, particularly for, but not limited to, Jordanian HEIs. The research findings provide an insight into the KSFs that are important for the successful implementation of ERP systems, identifying two new implementation lifecycle stages, the influential factors being mapped across the lifecycle phases providing a more detailed and in-depth understanding of what is required.
Date of Award2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University
SupervisorDongmei Cao (Supervisor), Alexeis Garcia-Perez (Supervisor) & Qile He (Supervisor)

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