اثر حمایت های داخلی و کیفیت مشاور بر فرایند مشاوره و کیفیت سیستم برنامه ریزی منابع سازمانی (ERP)
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Decision Support Systems, Volume 42, Issue 2, November 2006, Pages 1029–1041
ERP implementation, as a change initiative, is a challenge facing any organization and requires strong support from top management and users. However, internal support is inadequate to overcome client deficiencies in the resources and abilities essential to ERP implementation, implying that the assistance of outside experts is inevitable. This study presents a conceptual framework to investigate how human inputs (top management, users, and external consultants) are linked to communication effectiveness and conflict resolution in the ERP consulting process, as well as the effects of these factors on the quality of the system implemented. Through a survey of 85 ERP implementation projects in Taiwanese manufacturers, the study demonstrates that competent consultants can facilitate communication and conflict resolution in the ERP consulting process and assist in improving ERP system quality. The findings indicate that top management support indirectly enhances ERP system quality through its positive effect on conflict resolution in the consulting process. The results also show that high user support enhances communication effectiveness; however, communication effectiveness does not influence conflict resolution and ERP system quality. The implications and the limitations of the study are discussed.
In the recent decade, companies have spent billions of dollars and countless hours implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. ERP systems are comprehensive packages designed to integrate a wide range of business functions to provide a holistic view of the firm from a single information technology architecture . The integrative nature of ERP systems makes their implementation more complicated than that of traditional packages, and firms typically find themselves lacking adequate internal resources to implement an ERP system. Owing to this knowledge gap and resource constraints, mediating entities such as consulting firms play an important role in almost all ERP implementations. External consultants, who provide technical and business expertise, reduce client knowledge or learning burden . Their expertise allows clients to configure an appropriate ERP system and helps train users to fully exploit the technology. When the knowledge gap between a client and consultants is salient, the management of consulting process is at the core of ERP implementation. Researchers, such as Thong and colleagues ,  and , recognized the importance of external consultants in traditional Information System (IS) implementation. For example, Thong  found that high-quality external experts were more crucial to IS effectiveness than top management support in small businesses. However, to transfer the knowledge and business practices embodied in an ERP package into the client organization, consultants must have diverse knowledge and skills, such as system knowledge and industry-specific expertise, making the function and role of consultants in ERP implementation different from those in traditional IS contexts. Thus, more systematic investigation into the role of consultants in ERP consultation and implementation is needed. Equally important is the influence of internal stakeholders, top management and users, in the ERP consulting process, because internal stakeholders must understand and learn to use what is embedded in the system. External consultants, top management, and users are the critical persons that will significantly impact the process and outcome of an ERP implementation . To our knowledge, no other empirical studies have directly investigated the influence of clients, consultants and the consulting process on ERP implementation. Consequently, this study constructs an ERP consulting processing model (see Fig. 1), investigating whether such human inputs affect the consulting process related to effective communication and conflict resolution and whether these factors lead to a higher quality system.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study empirically shows the importance of consultants in shaping the ERP consulting process and the delivered ERP system quality. Generally, ERP consultants are critical in influencing the effectiveness of communication and conflict resolution in the consulting process. Despite being less influential than consultants, top management support for an ERP project still impacts the system quality indirectly through conflict resolution. However, user support neither directly nor indirectly affects the quality of the delivered system. We consider the results are generally supportive to the research model and such support also provides additional evidence of the validity of the constructs proposed in the study. This study has several limitations. The first is the threat of common method bias. Since all data were collected with the same instrument, the methodological nuisance of common method variance might lead to inflated model relationships. To examine the extent of systematic errors, Harman's one factor test was performed. All scale items were factor analyzed together using the eigenvalue-greater-than-one criterion of unrotated factor analysis. Six factors were extracted and explained over 77.42% of the variance. The existence of multiple factors accounting for a sizable percentage of the variance among the variables indicates that common method bias is not a serious problem in this study. Second, despite care being taken to ensure proper informant selection, self-reports of ERP project leaders might still be perceptually biased. Some researchers have questioned the ability of key informants to report validly ; however, others have argued that a single, reliable informant is preferable to multiple respondents with varying familiarity with the investigated phenomenon . Besides, some studies have shown that high inter-rater reliability exists among project team members . Nevertheless, a multiple-informant approach should be valuable for investigating complex processes such as ERP implementation. Third, the high correlations between the independent variables mean large shared variances between these variables, and may lead to non-significant paths in the model. Therefore, the findings of this study should be treated as preliminary and may not preclude the importance of constructs that do not significantly influence the outcomes of ERP implementation in this study. Fourth, the variances shared between consultant quality and its indicators and the correlation between conflict resolution and conflict resolution are equal, even though these two constructs are different in nature. Conflict resolution focuses on the interaction of the client–consultant dyad while consultant quality assesses the service the consultants provide. This nevertheless makes the discriminant validity between consultant quality and conflict resolution suspicious, thus to some extent limiting the interpretability of our results.