Strategic Predictors of Successful Enterprise Systems Deployment

Document Type


Publication Date


Source Publication

International Journal of Operations & Production Management


Purpose The delivered wisdom to date has enterprise system purchase and implementation as one of the most hazardous projects any organization can undertake. The aim was to reduce this risk by both theoretically and empirically finding those key predictors of a successful enterprise system deployment.

Design/methodology/approach A representative sample of 60 firms drawn from the Fortune 1000 that had recently (1999-2000) adopted enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems was used to test a model of adoption performance with significant results.

Findings Leadership (social learning theory), business process re-engineering (change the company not the technology) and acquisition strategy (buy, do not make) were found to be significant predictors of adoption performance (final model R 2=43 percent, F=5.5, p<0.001, df=7.52), controlling for industry (manufacturing versus service), project start date and scale (sales). Electronic data interchange (EDI) usage was found to be inversely and significantly related to adoption performance which supports the notion that prior company investments in earlier generations of technology for integration might inhibit adoption of later, more radical or complex alternatives. We validated these results with a focused follow-up study (2005) using mailed and interview protocols identical to the first questionnaire and 20 new cases of ERP deployment. We found near perfect agreement (p<0.001 binomial test) with our initial findings.

Originality/value The “four factor” model we validate is a robust predictor of ERP adoption success and can be used by any organization to audit plans and progress for this undertaking.


International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 953 - 972 (2005). DOI: 10.1108/01443570510619473