GOVERNANCE STRATEGIES FOR ENTERPRISE APPLICATION SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATIONS
Ghosh, Saumyendu N.
Skibniewski, Miroslaw J
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Enterprise application system implementations are highly complex implementations that automate several business functions, such as financials, accounting, supply chain, customer services management, human resources management and reporting among others. This study aims at providing an alternative view of organization's enterprise application system (EAS) acceptance. Despite the large body of literature, there are still empirical inquiries to investigate the EAS system implementation from adopters' perspectives and how to identify risks in a multi-stakeholder and dynamic environment. The thesis consists of three essays on various aspects of relationship between enterprise application implementation in a multi-stakeholder environment and project governance. Valid measurement scales for predicting organization's acceptance of enterprise systems are in short supply. The first essay develops and validates new scales for two specific variables, integration and inter-dependency risks. These variables are hypothesized as key determinant for organizational success of enterprise application implementations by mitigating risks involved in a multi-stakeholder environment. A model of organization acceptance of enterprise systems was developed using these two scales and then tested for reliability from a total of 365 users and nine application groups. The measures were validated using ten different direct measures with reliabilities between 0.72 and 0.96. Integration risk was significantly related with perceived ease of use, consultant's product knowledge and training provided to the end users. Inter-dependency risk was significantly correlated with perceived usefulness, consultant's industry and product knowledge. Both integration and inter-dependency risks are significantly related with success of the new enterprise application. This study would benefit project executives by offering valuable managerial insights that enable them to appreciate and improve integration and inter-dependency of stakeholders. Implications for theory and practice are discussed for two sub-groups: that less experienced resources treat risks differently than more experienced resources, and business applications compared to technical enterprise applications. Academic community has not addressed governance of enterprise application projects that involve dynamic environments and how to mitigate integration and inter-dependency risks. In the second essay it is argued that acceptance of the system from end users is not enough? Adopters of new enterprise wide information technology solutions get most benefit when the solution continues to be adaptable when business, environment or other organizational priorities change - therefore making an implementation sustainable. The second essay discussed characteristics of sustainability of enterprise application implementation from organizational perspective. A case study was used to validate the characteristics of sustainability. The thesis sought to demonstrate the causal relationship between the organization's preparedness for sustainability and the emergence of implementation problems. The study extracted insight into the criticality of certain factors and the type of problems making decisions under weak governance situation. The third essay develops determinants for project governance success of enterprise application implementations by mitigating risks in a multi-stakeholder environment. This essay develops and validates new scales for five specific variables. Definitions of five variables were used to develop a model that was presented for content validity and then tested for reliability from a total of 117 project executives globally. The measures were validated with reliabilities between 0.73 and 0.94. Relationships between five measures were broken down to meaningful components and a three tier project governance structure was proposed to mitigate integration and inter-dependency risks in a multi-stakeholder environment.