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A framework for identifying and understanding enterprise systems benefits

Petra Schubert (Copenhagen Business School, Centre for Applied Information and Communication Technologies, Frederiksberg, Denmark)
Susan P. Williams (Department of Computer Science, Institute for IS Research, University of Koblenz‐Landau, Koblenz, Germany)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 13 September 2011




Identifying the benefits arising from implementations of enterprise systems and realizing business value remains a significant challenge for both research and industry. This paper aims to consolidate previous work. It presents a framework for investigating enterprise systems benefits and business change, which addresses the identified limitations of previous research and provides a more detailed analysis of benefits and their contextual variation.


Drawing on data gathered from 31 real‐world organizations (case studies) of differing size, maturity, and industry sector, the study adopts an iterative content analysis to empirically derive a comprehensive benefits framework.


The content analysis provides a detailed classification of expectations and benefits, which is described in a four‐level framework. The four levels (areas) are further subdivided into aspects and criteria plus an attributed appraisal value. The resulting scheme for the “three‐level benefit codes” provides a greater level of detail about the nature of expected and realized benefits.

Practical implications

The high level of detail and the code scheme comprising 60 different codes and the method for deriving the codes allows companies to identify and define benefits as well as to assess the outcome of enterprise systems implementation projects.


The paper empirically develops an applicable benefits framework, which addresses the lack of detail of previous frameworks.



Schubert, P. and Williams, S.P. (2011), "A framework for identifying and understanding enterprise systems benefits", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 808-828.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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