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Academic Research and ERP Systems



Recently I attended the premier information systems conference in the Americas (AMCIS).  There were a number of academic presentations related ERP systems and related solutions.  Really the track was Enterprise Systems.  In some cases it became apparent that if a solution was used across the enterprise then it must be an Enterprise System.  Microsoft Office?

An ongoing annoyance which can be found in nearly every academic paper written in this area is that ERP systems evolved from MRP systems.  The abbreviations are similar.  If this is true then surely some of the top tier ERP systems must have started their life as an MRP.  This does not seem the case.  Because a prominent academic stated this in 1999 it has been referenced ever since.

The last annoyance for this blog is “there is a high rate of failure with ERP systems”.  This belief has resulted in a plethora of papers by academics on how to reduce this failure rate.  However the papers produced which investigate an implementation often do not distinguish between a full implementation or upgrade, a technical or functional upgrade, modules/solutions implemented, previous experience with implementations, scope of implementation in terms of depth (degree of business process change) and breadth (users/countries).  The papers are so generalised that little is gained.

So how can you help?  When a university academic wants to involve you in a research activity please go to great lengths to set the scene and how this may have influenced the possible outcomes.

Good luck

Paul Hawking

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  • Dear Mr. Hawking, I like your style very much:)) We have exchanged like 2 messages in the UAC forum, but I am sure you´re not the bookworm I know from my own university.
    It is a very refreshing feeling, that there are people who use their brains instead of writing tons of so-called academic papers. I am going to follow your activities because I like this fresh and practic style and am curious if you will be able to change the minds of the “academic” crowd. Now I understand why is your university on the top of the ERP education.
    Just wanted to tell you,
    regards Otto Gold