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An Investigation of the Factors Leading to ERP Obsolescence in Higher Education Institution in Saudi Arabia: A Case Study

Aljohani, Arwa (2016) An Investigation of the Factors Leading to ERP Obsolescence in Higher Education Institution in Saudi Arabia: A Case Study. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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The implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has increased substantially over the last few decades. In business organisations of any size and in many countries and sectors, almost every project today uses an ERP system, with various degrees of complexity and dependency. Reviewing the related Information Systems (IS) and ERP literature has shown that only a very small number of research studies have considered ERP in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), with the majority of studies focusing on other business contexts. In addition, it has been found that most of the literature discusses issues related to the adoption of ERP and the related success stories; in fact, ERP implementation is not the end of the journey. Very often, the ERP post-implementation stage is where the more crucial challenges begin, mainly involving a change in either the internal or external environment of organisations as a result of the rapid growth of technology. ERP/IS has become a victim of these challenges, which has led to an increased possibility of obsolescence. Obsolescence is associated with many costs for organisations if not checked and controlled proactively. However, the current literature indicates that no major research has been undertaken in the area of ERP obsolescence. In order to address this issue, the researcher investigated the factors that led to the ERP obsolescence phenomenon in a public university in Saudi Arabia. A Grounded Theory (GT) approach was adopted as the overarching methodology to guide the data collection and analysis in this single case-study design, using a semi-structured telephone interview method involving 17 informants, namely managers, decision makers and IT staff. Through this analysis, two main categories of obsolescence emerged: internal environmental obsolescence (IEO) and external environmental obsolescence (EEO). The four general types of IEO were found to be System Obsolescence, Organisational Obsolescence, Human Resource Obsolescence and Management Obsolescence. EEO was found to take the form of Policies and Restrictions Obsolescence, Competition Obsolescence and local IT market Obsolescence. Further to these types of obsolescence, this study identified widely different factors that contributed to obsolescence such as network issues, legacy-based issues, maintenance issues, new system advantages, integration issues, university business process changes, professional specialist unavailability, governmental policy issues, educational system issues, economic issues, consultant influence and vendor issues. The findings conclude that both IEO and EEO impacted on the university system. Internally, this involved a lack of updating of any part of the system, including software, hardware and/or human aspects for which the actors involved were responsible, which had a wide impact and made the system obsolete. Externally, changes in governmental rules and in the market also negatively influenced obsolescence. The findings also show that the IEO and EEO interacted with each other to accelerate obsolescence. It was concluded that a compatibility mechanism dealing with system component challenges caused by component misalignment, in order to avoid the obsolescence that leads to regular replacement. Consequently, this research shows the importance of looking at obsolescence not only at the component level or from a technical perspective but more importantly at an organisational and extra-institutional level, in particular focusing on problems associated with the human dimension. The outcome of this study offers theoretical and practical contributions across many ERP/IS areas which have been neglected in previous studies. Keywords: Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP), Higher Education Insinuations (HEIs), Information Systems (IS), ERP Obsolescence, Saudi Arabia (SA), Grounded Theory (GT)

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.707076
Depositing User: Miss Arwa Aljohani
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 12:57
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:02
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16632

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