CCE Theses and Dissertations

A Model of Critical Success Factors for Implementing Enterprise Resource Planning Packages in Higher Education

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Laurie Dringus

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee


The implementation of enterprise resource planning packages has proven to be a difficult challenge in many environments. Institutions of higher education are new entrants in the field of ERPs. Colleges and universities are beginning to implement comprehensive student information systems that aim to support all areas of administrative computing including student records, student admission, accounts receivable, and financial aid. The early experiences of these implementers are similar to experiences of ERP implementers outside of higher education. Some of these implementations have failed , leaving institutions' records and computerized student services in disarray.

ERP researchers have so far focused on surveying implementers in industry to determine common causes of failed projects and the necessary prerequisites for successful implementations. However, colleges and universities operate in an environment that is different from that of businesses. The vast majority of them are non-profit, and they operate on small budgets within strict regulatory guidelines. Research similar to that in industry is needed to determine whether the same factors are responsible for successful and failed ERP implementations. ERP research in industry has generated consistent critical success factors. There are also factors available from research on information systems implementations in higher education. The researcher included these critical success factors in a survey that was mailed to managers of successful ERP implementations in higher education. These individuals were asked to mark each factor as necessary or not necessary in their particular implementation. They were also asked to provide additional factors. A second survey was used to validate the model. ERP implementers in higher education were asked to rank the importance of each factor relative to their particular implementation.

Expectations were that ERP implementations proceed differently in colleges and universities. The list of factors obtained from the second survey can serve as a model for future ERP implementations in higher education. Future implementers of ERPs in higher education should be able to devote additional resources to those factors of ERP projects that were ranked higher in the list and fewer resources to other areas.

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