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Do cultural dimensions differentiate ERP acceptance? A study in the context of Saudi Arabia

Hisham Alhirz (School of Science & Technology, University of New England, Armidale, Australia)
A. S. M. Sajeev (School of Science & Technology, University of New England, Armidale, Australia)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of espoused national cultural values of individuals on user acceptance of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Such an influence is mediated by perceived user resistance, involvement and satisfaction with ERP. Education level, organisational size and ERP user level, on the other hand, are considered as moderating factors.


Survey instruments were constructed for relevant variables with items mostly sourced from the literature. In total, 230 ERP users from various organisations in Saudi Arabia participated in the survey. The data were analysed using SPSS and AMOS statistical packages to test the hypotheses.


The structural equation model did not show evidence for power distance and individualism influencing perceived user resistance and involvement with ERP, whereas uncertainty avoidance has a significant influence over perceived user involvement and user resistance with ERP. Perceived user involvement positively influences perceived user satisfaction with ERP, and education level moderates the influence. Perceived user satisfaction with ERP positively impacts on user acceptance of ERP; however, moderator variables did not show significant influence on this relationship. Finally, perceived user resistance negatively influences user acceptance of ERP, and the influence varies across education level of the ERP users.

Research limitations/implications

The results may only generalise to Saudi Arabia and other countries with a similar culture. The sample was identified as users of ERP without taking into account users of individual modules of ERP software.

Practical implications

Findings of this paper contribute to the existing knowledge of ERP studies from cultural and social perspectives; such a contribution is to broaden the scope of IS research about the implementation and behavioural adoption and acceptance of ERP in middle eastern countries. It will also assist ERP implementers in deciding what cultural factors to consider in preparing an ERP implementation strategy in such countries.


Prior studies that analysed individual variations in the national cultural values were conducted in the context of general IT acceptance. The authors, instead, study them in an ERP implementation context; this is important because, unlike general IT acceptance, ERP implementations have an all-encompassing mandatory nature and has the potential to change organisational culture. Furthermore, prior studies on ERP usage in Saudi Arabia are mostly qualitative case studies with associated limitations on generalisability. This quantitative study, on the contrary, addresses the influence of individual’s espoused national cultural values on ERP acceptance.



The authors thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor of the journal for their insightful comments and suggestions, which have improved the quality and content of the paper. The first author’s PhD scholarship was sponsored by the Ministry of Higher Education of Saudi Arabia.


Alhirz, H. and Sajeev, A.S.M. (2015), "Do cultural dimensions differentiate ERP acceptance? A study in the context of Saudi Arabia", Information Technology & People, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 163-194.



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