Exploring the relationship of organisational culture to enterprise system success

Birbeck, Peter J. (2008) Exploring the relationship of organisational culture to enterprise system success. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The doctoral research project is titled ‘An Exploration of the Relationship of Organisational Culture and Enterprise System Success and sought to address the research gap identified in the literature between organisational culture literature and Information System success literature. This is a research project which is funded by the Australian Research Council in conjunction with industry. The industry sponsors for this research were SAP AG, SAP USA and SAP ANZ. The research project adopted a multi-method research design, grounded in practice, in order to surface any reported relationship between Enterprise Systems Success (ESS) and Organisational Culture (OC). A critical part of the study was to identify who could report on this relationship. Partners in implementation include internal change managers, internal consultants, vendor consultants and implementation partner consultants. Representatives from each of these constituents were interviewed, covering a range of industry sectors and Enterprise Systems vendor organisations. The first phase of the research was to qualitatively assess the perception of these participants on the role of culture to Enterprise Systems Success. This phase used open, axial and selective coding of the responses obtained in a semi-structured interview. The next phase of the research was to gather quantitative measures of Organisational Culture and Enterprise Systems Success. The Organisational Culture Assessment Inventory (OCAI) of Cameron and Quinn was selected to gather quantitative data on Organisational Culture. The Enterprise Systems Success instrument of Gable, Sedera and Chan was selected to measure the perception of ESS because of its proven reliability and validity. Each of these data sets were then analysed to determine if an association existed between the cultures of organisations that achieved most success with the Enterprise System as opposed to the culture types reported of organisations that achieved the least success with the ES. These findings then assisted in the development of a model of interaction between OC and ESS. Finally, the relationship of OC to ESS was explored in a rich case study of one large firm, to determine if the consultant’s reported relationships could be identified in the subcultures of the organisation. The key findings of this study were: 1. There was a relationship reported between culture type and success types. The findings a-e below represent findings using the culture definitions from Cameron & Quinn’s culture instrument: a. clan cultures which emphasised the behaviours of development of others were related to reports of ESS b. hierarchical cultures which emphasised the behaviours of control and coordination were related to reports of ESS c. hierarchical cultures which were poor in the execution of control and coordination were related to reports of the least success with ES d. market cultures which emphasised (internal) competitiveness were strongly related to reports of least success with ES e. literature attributes of continuous improvement (CI), flexibility (F) and innovation (I), which are often described as antecedents to innovation success and are found in the culture type of adhocracy, were reported as strongly related to success of ES, but the culture type of adhocracy was not reported as being present in the quantitative data describing consultant experiences with enterprises which had implemented ES. 2. that the literature supported theoretical reasons for the above findings 3. that these patterns of association were found in the case study. The research supports the proposition that there is a relationship between Organisational Culture type and ESS. Certain culture types practice behaviours that correspond to reported necessary behaviours for innovation success and ESS, whilst other culture types practice behaviours that correspond to behaviours for failure of innovation and of ES failure. A model of and explanation for this relationship was proposed as a result of the findings. Future research is now required to empirically test this model.

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ID Code: 16997
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Stewart, Glenn, Bruce, Christine, & Gable, Guy
Keywords: organisational culture, enterprise systems, enterprise systems success, measuring organisational culture, measuring enterprise system success, ES, ES implementation, information systems, multi-method research, erp
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 17 Dec 2008 03:35
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:41

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