To read this content please select one of the options below:

Exploring the impact of top management support of enterprise systems implementations outcomes: Two cases

Linying Dong (School of ITM, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 18 April 2008




Despite the general consensus regarding the critical role of top management in the information systems (IS) implementation process, the literature reveals a lack of understanding of top managers' supportive actions. There are also conflicting findings, which, based on the review, are the result of unexamined perspectives (deterministic, contingent, and dynamic perspective) of the impact of top management support (TMS). The purpose of the study is to compare the applicability of the three perspectives to enrich the understanding of TMS under the context of enterprise systems (ES) implementation.


Case studies were conducted in two Canadian universities which have implemented a large‐scale ES to examine the applicability of the three perspectives. About 19 interviews were conducted with top managers, department managers, project managers, users and trainer.


Results reveal that the deterministic and contingent perspective may be a simplified version of a complex picture and may not reflect how top management actions affect implementation outcomes. The case study indicates that top managers followed the dynamics of the IS implementation process.

Practical implications

The case studies offer several important findings to practitioners. For example, top managers need to constantly obtain feedback from users and adjust their supportive actions and the level of these supportive actions accordingly.


Despite the consensus on the importance of TMS, TMS studies hold different perspectives of the impact of top managers' supportive actions on IS implementation outcomes. By comparing the three perspectives, the study makes important contributions to both academic researchers and practitioners.



Dong, L. (2008), "Exploring the impact of top management support of enterprise systems implementations outcomes: Two cases", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 204-218.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles