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Does ERP integration foster Cross-Functional Awareness? Challenging conventional wisdom for SMEs and large French firms

Rolande Marciniak (Paris Ouest Nanterre University, Nanterre, France)
Redouane E.L. Amrani (Neoma Business School, Reims, France)
Frantz Rowe (Université de Nantes, Nantes, France and SKEMA Business School, Sophia Antipolis, France)
Frédéric Adam (Business Information Systems, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 28 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of Cross-Functional Awareness (CFA) and to question how firm size influences the impact of ERP implementation strategies on CFA. Specifically, the paper questions whether size moderates the capability of the firm to achieve CFA.


The authors developed and empirically tested a conceptual framework using the partial least squares structural equation modeling approach. This study gathered data from a sample of 45 French SMEs and 55 French large firms.


The results show that ERP implementation strategies (flexibility, organizational vision, Business Process Re-Engineering, speed of implementation, and focus on core modules) have a direct positive relationship and, in large firms, an indirect relationship (via data quality improvement) with the emergence of CFA. The study also suggests that firm size moderates the resulting emergence of ERP-enabled CFA. The findings will help researchers understand the factors associated with ERP implementation and use that promote or inhibit successful use of ERP systems.

Research limitations/implications

Similar to many published ERP surveys, the sample size is small. In addition, the authors examined CFA in the survey from the perspective of a single respondent per firm. Finally, there may be a cultural limitation linked to the respondents all being French firms.

Practical implications

The findings will promote a better understanding of the concept of CFA and its benefits amongst managers, leading to increased productivity and efficiency with ERP. In particular, they will help practitioners identify and manage the right factors during ERP implementations.


In the expanding world of Enterprise System research, this paper is significant in that it studies the effect of ERP implementation on CFA rather than investigating the factors affecting ERP implementation or the outcomes of ERP implementations. To the best of the knowledge, this is one of the few papers that theoretically articulates and empirically explores the concept of CFA, and tests the relationship between implementation strategy factors and CFA, including the moderating role of size in the context of ERP. The contribution shows that the firm size effect should be examined at the level of SMEs and larger firms separately, rather than at an overall level.



The authors would like to thank Marc Bidan and Bénédicte Geffroy Maronnat for their willingness to share their ideas and for their cooperation in the preparation of an earlier version of this paper.


Marciniak, R., E.L. Amrani, R., Rowe, F. and Adam, F. (2014), "Does ERP integration foster Cross-Functional Awareness? Challenging conventional wisdom for SMEs and large French firms", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 865-886.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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