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ERP system implementation in large enterprises – a systematic literature review

Mahmood Ali (College of Business Administration, University of Business and Technology, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Lloyd Miller (Cag Universitesi, Mersin, Turkey)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 10 July 2017




Enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation brings with it a set of challenges. In order to gain a better understanding of these and they can be mitigated during the implementation process, the purpose of this paper is to use Esteves and Bohórquez (2007) classification based on ERP lifecycle framework, and content analysis to review the literature on ERP implementation in a structured format with a focus on larger enterprises, and provide a platform for practitioners to plan implementation with minimum possibility of failure.


Esteves and Bohórquez (2007) classification based on the ERP lifecycle framework is used to develop and present a comprehensive structured review of the literature on ERP system implementation in large enterprises (LEs), with a particular focus on pre-implementation, implementation, and post-implementation.


Drawing from the literature, organisations can plan implementation based on the findings and strategies presented in the study. This can lead to a better understanding of implementation with minimal probability of failure. The authors find that top management support, good project management teams, and good communications are the top three most important critical successful factors during implementation. The authors also identify critical gaps in current research. Existing research focusses predominantly on the implementation phase, but research on pre- and post-implementation is lacking, and that no industry standard implementation methodology has been developed.

Research implications

This review primarily focusses on the literature in the area of ERP implementation. ERP implementation planning involves access to effective implementation strategies. Despite the literature identifying a myriad of different ERP implementation models, no standard industry ERP implementation model has been developed. The findings for ERP implementation are repetitive, inconsistent, and lack empirical research, rendering these two of the most critical areas for future research, and collaboration between ERP practitioners, system developers, and researchers. Researchers, in turn, need to become more innovative in terms of their research techniques when examining ERP implementation.

Practical implications

This paper provides guidance to researchers and practitioners with an insight into published research work and their findings. It provides a better understanding of ERP implementation, which can be applied towards overcoming operational difficulties during the implementation process.


This study is innovated in its use of Esteves and Bohórquez (2007) classification based on the ERP lifecycle framework, and content analysis to present a comprehensive structured literature review of the ERP implementation literature with a specific focus on pre-implementation, implementation, and post-implementation in LEs between the period 1989 and 2014. The technique and time period used in this study differs from those of other studies on ERP implementation. The paper brings together theoretical and practical developments on ERP implementation under a single source, which should aid practitioners, researchers and ERP developers with future research and decision making.



Ali, M. and Miller, L. (2017), "ERP system implementation in large enterprises – a systematic literature review", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 666-692.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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