CCE Theses and Dissertations


An Empirical Study of Critical Success Factors for Implementing Client/Server Human Resource Information Systems

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Michael A. Moody

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell


The purpose of this dissertation was to develop and validate an instrument to identify factors critical to the successful implementation of human resource information systems (HRIS) based on client/server technology. An extensive review of the literature indicated that many organizations have attempted to implement client/server software applications, but that their efforts have often been unsuccessful. The small percentage of successful implementations is a significant problem considering that the vast majority of medium and large organizations today are migrating to a client/server computing environment. A correlational research study was conducted to examine the factors identified in the literature as client/server critical success factors and determine their relevance to client/server HRIS implementation success. The procedures for conducting this correlational research study included; (a) the development of a survey instrument, (b) a review of the instrument by an expert panel, (c) a pilot study to validate the instrument using a randomly selected population of 50 firms, and (d) the administration of the validated instrument to a sample of220 organizations. As a first step, a Likert scale questionnaire was developed based on the factors identified in the literature. To validate this instrument, a panel of client/server experts reviewed the survey instrument. This group of experienced systems professionals supported the validity of this instrument by giving it a mean score of 4.20 out of a possible 5.0. Next, a randomly chosen group of 50 HRIS professionals participated in a pilot study. These experts used the instrument to rate the importance of each factor to their specific HRIS client/server implementation and to assess the success of their project. Factor analysis and reliability tests supported the reliability of the instrument. As a final step, the survey instrument was administered to another randomly selected group of220 human resource systems professionals. The survey results were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics to determine the relationship between each factor and client/server HRIS implementation success as perceived by each respondent. Analysis of the descriptive data indicated that the factors were perceived to be important with mean scores ranging from a minimum of2.84 to a maximum of 4.68. Factor analysis resulted in the identification of 17 items that loaded significantly on seven factors including; (I) implementation methodology, (2) business integration, (3) technology planning, (4) technology selection, (5) system integration, (6) project scope, and (7) management support. Correlation analysis was conducted to test the hypotheses and identify associations between these factors and success. It was concluded that (a) there is a positive relationship between system integration and success, (b) there is a positive correlation between project scope and success, c) there is a negative correlation between technology planning and success, and (d) no significant association was found between success and implementation methodology, business integration, technology selection or management support. This research study concluded with the contribution of a validated instrument for measuring client/server critical success factors. This valid, reliable instrument can be used by organizations or other researchers interested in investigating the factors present in the implementation of a software application based on client/server technology.

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