Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

An Empirical Investigation of the Contribution of Internal and External Actors in the Success of Organizational Fit and User Performance: The Moderating Effect of Users' Absorptive Capacity

Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

An Empirical Investigation of the Contribution of Internal and External Actors in the Success of Organizational Fit and User Performance: The Moderating Effect of Users' Absorptive Capacity

Article excerpt

Introduction

To cope with the rapid environmental changes and to remain competitive, companies are moving toward more sophisticated information systems like ERP. The adoption of these systems allows full integration of all business processes and facilitates access to a single database that includes all the information related to the business activity (Wang et al. 2008). Given the complexity and risk associated to implementing these systems, in recent years researchers started to study their critical success factors (Motwania et al., 2002; Bradford and Florin, 2003; Kumar et al., 2003; Umble et al., 2003). Among the critical success factors of the ERP system that have been identified and on which all researchers agree nearly unanimously, we mention organizational fit. In fact, it is because these ERP systems do not provide a tailored solution to all companies and all sectors ( Swan et al. , 1999) that their implementation needs to change their features to approach the company's business processes (Hong and Kim , 2002). Organizational fit operation needs both internal and external expertise. In other words, transfer of knowledge is made possible mainly through three major actors: internal experts, external consultants and ERP vendors. The team responsible for the implementation of an ERP project, in most cases, consists of internal expertise and external consultants (Chang et al., 2013). External support is mentioned by many researchers as a critical success factor of the ERP system. However, tliis factor includes both ERP vendors and consultants. Few researches have investigated separately the role of these two actors. The objective of our study is to identify first the contribution of each of these three actors: internal experts, external consultants and ERP vendors in organizational fit of the ERP system.

Second, we investigate the nature of the relationship between Organizational fit of ERP processes and users performance. The most difficult and important task in the implementation phase of the ERP system is certainly the adjustment effort of business processes with the new computer application. In addition to internal experts, the success of tliis operation depends on the contribution of external experts. Our study attempts to highlight the position of internal and external experts in the success of the organizational adaptation process of the ERP System in Tunisian companies and measure the impact of organizational fit on user performance. Then, the variable "absorptive capacity", as a moderator, was introduced to study first its effect on the relationship between these different actors and organizational fit and second its effect on the nature of the relationship between organizational fit and users' performance. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. The following section summarizes the literature. Section 3 describes the methodology adopted in tliis study. Section 4 analyzes the results. Section 5 presents and discusses the findings.

Theoretical Framework

Individual Performance Impact

The success of the ERP system is often measured by the degree of achieving the objectives fixed by the company (Davenport, 1998). Previous research has used several criteria to assess the ERP system performance: user satisfaction, individual impact, organizational impact, and intended business performance improvement (Zhang et al, 2005). In fact, the decision to acquire the ERP system is the responsibility of top managers. But investment in learning and especially its use depends on the end users of the new system. The success of the new ERP system depends on the company's personnel behavior. It is for tliis reason that we believe that ERP system performance largely depends on its impact on users in permanent contact with the new system. In fact the importance of an information system comes from its capacity to improve individual performance expressed in terms of individual improved productivity, task performance improvement, decision effectiveness and quality, and decision-making time. …

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