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Life after ERP implementation: Long‐term development of user perceptions of system success in an after‐sales environment

Lotta Häkkinen (Media Group, Turku School of Economics, Turku, Finland)
Olli‐Pekka Hilmola (Kouvola Research Unit, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 18 April 2008




Case studies examining long‐term ERP system success/failure are scarce. However, there is a clear need for critical knowledge in this field. This paper aims to address this issue through providing evidence from a case study completed in an after‐sales division of a multinational corporation.


Data were collected from ERP users in two phases: during the so‐called shakedown phase and two years after system implementation. Data gathering was done by means of a questionnaire based on the DeLone and McLean model.


Overall, user evaluations were more negative in the shakedown phase. However, problems were still identified two years after system implementation. For example, the quality of user support was considered to have worsened during this time. Evaluations also differed depending on the user's respective business process and user type. For instance, data integration was generally identified as a positive issue, but at the same time others considered it a downside of the new system.

Research limitations/implications

The research results are based on data from one organization, which naturally limits the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications

Although the study relies on case‐based evidence, it underlines the value of using user evaluations in identifying problem areas during the ERP implementation process. Results elaborate on the effects that ERP system inflexibility and integration may have in a complex business environment.


The study is seminal in its field as evidence covers multiple points in time. The results are valuable for improving the quality of ERP evaluation in companies as well as for developing research in this curriculum.



Häkkinen, L. and Hilmola, O. (2008), "Life after ERP implementation: Long‐term development of user perceptions of system success in an after‐sales environment", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 285-310.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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