Critical Success Factors for Implementing ERP in the curriculum of university busi-
ness education – a case study
Le Duc, Michaël
School of Business, Society and Technology, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden
Abstract: Higher education, especially in business, could potentially benefit from implement-
ing Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) in the classroom. However, implementing
ERP systems in teaching has turned out to be a challenge to some universities. The research
question is: Which major Critical Success Factors (CSF) for implementing ERP in business
match major success factors stemming from a case study about implementing ERP in the
curriculum of university courses?
Ten top CSFs from the business context are selected as the major part of the theoretical
framework (Finney and Corbett, 2007).
A case study method regarding a major vendor of ERP and its university network is applied
with some elements of action research. The researcher has been given the opportunity to
access online information as well as participate in meetings, online and face to face, and con-
ferences since 2007. Multiple sources of evidence are used, including observations, meeting
notes and downloaded documents from public as well as partner websites. The sample is
based on the opportunity to get access to the software corporation, innovative professors and
business partners, primarily in Western Europe and the USA. Data has been coded and ana-
lysed in the software NVivo.
The study identifies the following major Critical Success Factors for implementing ERP in a
university education context, in order of coding density: (I) champions, (II) networking (like
user groups, seminars and conferences) (III) curriculum development as well as (IV) learn
Champions in the university context (I) can be related to the business CSF (10) project cham-
pion. Networking (II) in the university context can be related to (5) project team: the best and
brightest as well (4) training and job redesign. Curriculum development (III) could be related
to (4) training and job redesign. Learn and innovate (IV) in universities can be related to the
business CSFs (2) change management and (3) Business Process Re-engineering (BPR).
Five out of ten business CSFs can be clearly related to the case study regarding successful
implementation in university curricula.
The missing business CSFs in the case study are (1) top management commitment and sup-
port, (6) implementation strategy and timeframe, (7) consultant selection and relationship, (8)
visioning and planning as well as (9) balanced team.
Findings cannot be generalised statistically. However the findings/themes can be generalised
thematically. The main contribution of the research concerns a matching between CSFs in
business and CSFs for implementing ERP in university business curricula.
Keywords: Implementation, ERP, higher education, business education, Critical Success