The Implementation of ERP System in Indian SMEs

Sharma, Seema (2009). The Implementation of ERP System in Indian SMEs. PhD thesis The Open University.



The objectives of the research reported in this thesis are to explore how enterprise resource planning (ERP) can be implemented successfully in Indian medium sized manufacturing firms and to understand why only some firms are able to implement ERP successfully, while others experience ERP failure. A review of existing literature addressing ERP implementation in both large companies and SMEs was undertaken to identify specific gaps in the literature. The resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, absorptive capacity and the diffusion of innovations (DOI) were identified as insightful theoretical bases for the study. A qualitative research methodology was adopted and, following a pilot study, data was collected through semi-structured, multi-respondent, in-depth interviews in nine case study firms. Data was analysed at three levels - within case, cross-case and group analysis. The empirical findings indicate that firms undertaking a big bang ERP implementation through well-known international vendors are more likely to be successful than those firms adopting a step by-step-approach with local vendors. A number of critical success factors (CSFs), consistent with existing studies of ERP implementation, were identified. This study demonstrates strong interlinkages between the identified CSFs, with top management support playing a central and enabling role amongst the other CSFs. Furthermore, the study identified high absorptive capacity as another important CSF for ERP implementation. The thesis offers a number of contributions. Firstly, it introduces the concept of absorptive capacity into a consideration of the CSFs of ERP implementation. It also provides a more in-depth understanding of the CSFs necessary for ERP implementation, how these are inter-related and demonstrates the central role of active top management involvement throughout the implementation process.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions