Association Of Enterprise Resource Planning With Performance And Capabilities Of Organisation: Case Study Of Walmart

Abstract

The aim of current study was to investigate the implementation of enterprise resource planning and its effect on performance and capabilities of organisation. In order to fulfil this aim, the current study has been carried out on Walmart and data from managerial level employees of Walmart was obtained. In order to collect data, the qualitative methodology was used and data was collected through structured interviews. The data was collected from 5 respondents and it was analysed by using qualitative content analysis. The results of the study have suggested that Walmart has successfully implied effective enterprise resource planning system by laying emphasis on its features including; integration, configuration, adaptability and user training. The effectively implemented system has enabled the company to increase the level of its performance by delivering low cost products with high quality, increased product delivery and by reducing the time to market. Along with this, the results have also indicated that Walmart has strengthen its capabilities through increased innovation and high functional coordination by relying on ERP system. The results have also depicted that enterprise resource planning system can increase information access capabilities of the organisation as well. All of the study’s results are well aligned with findings of previous related studies. The study has huge implications for both practice and theory.

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1Background

In globalised business realm, the organisations are continually seeking to gain sustainable competitive advantage by improving the quality of their processes and products (Hunton, Lippincott and Reck, 2003). The contemporary organisations are relying on effective information systems with aim of enhancing the quality of customer services and to reduce the cost associated with production and distribution of goods (Umble, Haft and Umble, 2003). The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is one of an important paradigm of information systems and it has gained increasing attention due to enormous benefits associated with ERP (Markus, Tanis and Van, 2000). The ERP has evolved from Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) and it has offered assistance for improvement of business processes and functions, which is the way of managing enterprise’s resources in an effective manner (Nicolaou, 2004). The reliance of ERP is based on the notion that it is an important tool for managing the resources in efficient, productive and profitable manner.

The rapid growth has been experienced by ERP systems during 1990s, when most of organisations have took initiative to replace their old systems with ERP systems. Initially, the focus of ERP was on back office functions which were lacking direct linkage with customers and clients (Soh, Kien and Tay-Yap, 2000). It has been enhanced by the introduction of front office functions such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Suppliers Relationship Management (SRM). The ERP has received significant attention in academia during the year 2000, and the ERP has been considered as an important method for gaining real time access to information of organisation (Somers and Nelson, 2001). The resource optimisation capability of the organisation has mainly assisted the organisations in gaining effectiveness and this is the reason of increasing reliance on ERP.

The enterprise resource planning has been recognised as the method to foster the flow of information within organisation (Al-Mashari, Al-Mudimigh and Zairi, 2003). Along with this, the ERP also assists in managing connection with stake holders which are both inside and outside of organisation.  The new generation ERP systems have been implemented by number of organisations, specifically by multinational organisations and it has evidently enhance the level of efficiency and effectiveness of those organisations. The usage of ERP is expanding in almost all major sectors of economy including; production, manufacturing, services, finance, transportation and public utilisation (Yang and Liang, 2003). The ERP is being implied by for maintaining relationship with suppliers and it also assists in procurement activities within organisation which range from acquisition of raw material to distribution of goods in the market.

The implementation of ERP may take two different paths within an organisation including; standardisation and customisation. The standardised ERP follows ready to use system and very minimum adjustments are carried out and it has been wisely found to be implemented by organisations (Ji and Liu, 2010). The former is associated with lower level of cost and it is easier to imply within the organisation. Whereas, the latter is more effective in the situation, when there is minimum compliance between the standardised ERP systems and existing structure of the organisation. It is evident that adjusting the ERP with requirements of organisation has proven to be more beneficial for the organisations and it has resulted in benefiting the organisations in terms of performance improvement (Mabert, Soni and Venkataramanan, 2003). The ERP has also contributed in terms of high level of flexibility towards organisation and it has been predicted by the researchers that the ERP can open the paradigm of innovativeness within organisation (Bishop and Hoover, 2006). The association between enterprise resource planning and the accounting aspects of organisation has already been discussed in the prior literature Dzogbede and Afun (2015), yet the implementation of phenomenon on Walmart will add significantly in literature. 

1.2Significance of the study

The current research is encompassing the views of contingency theory and resource based view of the firm theory in accordance with the enterprise resource planning and performance of organisation. The investigation of enterprise resource planning in the company as big as Walmart will be of a fruitful avenue for the upcoming research and practice. The identification of critical success factors associated with enterprise resource planning within Walmart will contribute substantially in the stream of growing literature. From the industry point of view, the current research study will guide the practitioners in understanding of ERP and its associated advantages.

1.3Problem Statement

In spite of several benefits associated with enterprise resource planning, the ERP has been considered as costly and it given pain in addition to gain to business (Baharum, Ngadiman and Haron, 2008). It has been highlighted by different researchers that cost of adopting ERP is closer to the cost linked with restructuring the information system of organisation (Bishop and Hoover, 2006). The cost aspect of ERP has promoted the researcher to carry out current study with an aim of recognising whether the ERP is beneficial or not. The critical success factor associated with ERP will offer an insight into the pluses of ERP in terms of performance improvement of organisation.

1.4Research Questions

This study will address the answers of following questions

  1. What are the potential benefits of adopting enterprise resource planning into organisation?
  2. How enterprise resource planning is benefiting Walmart in terms of its performance?

1.5Research Objectives

The aim of present research is to investigate the role of enterprise resource planning on the performance of Walmart.

The study has been conducted to achieve the following key objectives:

  • To identify the key benefits associated with adoption of enterprise resource planning.
  • To explore the association between enterprise resource planning and performance of Walmart.

1.6Thesis Structure

The research is based on five sections. First section is focusing on background of enterprise resource planning and along with this, the objectives and questions of research are also mentioned.  Second chapter is about discussion of relevant literature to focus on relation of enterprise resource planning with organisational performance and capabilities. The theoretical perspectives are also mentioned in this chapter.  Third chapter is focusing on design of study and adopted research methodology. In fourth chapter, the main findings of the study are highlighted. Final chapter has discussed the study’s findings in relation to prior studies and it has also mentioned limitations and guidance for future research. .

 

 

Chapter 2: Literature Review

The present section if focusing on association of implementation of enterprise resource planning with performance and capabilities of organisation. The chapter encompasses different sections, with an aim of exploring the dimensions of theory to signify the linkages among underlying variables. Firstly, the fundamental study variables have been defined with respect to relevant research which is followed by the discussion of history of enterprise resource planning in the light of recent literature. Along with this, all of the relevant theoretical perspectives incorporated into current study have been explored with help of literature in detailed manner. Moreover, the linkage among underlying variables is detailed in the light of most relevant literature to highlight their association. Finally, the study has been summarised by highlighting the key ideas of the literature.

2.1 Concepts and Definitions

Enterprise Resource Planning: Enterprise resource planning is an effective system which plays its role in organising organisation wide activities and assists in flow of information among different divisions of organisation (Arik Ragowsky, 2002). Enterprise resource planning acts as a bridge between information technology and business management as they are technological solutions for managing the resources of organisation. The enterprise resource planning is a comprehensive and integrated package which is designed to handle issues of various functional areas such as human resources, marketing, finance and accounting.

Organisation’s Performance: The organisational performance is associated with the accomplishment of objectives of organisation compared with its intended outputs and pre-set standards (Hitt and DJ Wu, 2002). The overall performance of organisation is comprised of three facets; financial performance, product market performance and shareholder’s return. All of the key areas within organisation are actively engaged in increasing the performance of organisation.

Organisation’s Capabilities: The organisational capabilities refer to the potential of an organisation to perform any given task through effective utilisation of organisational resources (Ji and Liu, 2010). The organisational capabilities can be developed for gaining sustainable competitive advantage.

2.2 History of ERP

The evolution of enterprise resource planning goes back to 1960 when the competitiveness of business was solely based on the cost and the focus of organisations on finding out ways which can help in minimisation of cost and can assist in better management of inventories (Wagner and Monk, 2008). The inventory management was carried out with the help of information systems which was serving in forecasting the inventory needs of the organisation. The system was lacking the aspect of customer demands and this shortcoming was overcome through the birth of manufacturing resource planning in 1960. The manufacturing resource planning has served in handling of material for complex manufacturing processes (Sadagopan, 2003). The manufacturing resource planning was the best solution in manufacturing environment and it was fostering target market strategies through integration of production, planning, forecasting and production scheduling.

The simple tool of manufacturing resource planning has evolved to become standard manufacturing resource planning in in 1980s which was recognised as MRP II. It has assisted in synchronisation of production material and requirements with manufacturing processing. During this time, there emerged change in the manufacturing theory and focus of businesses have moved from cost reduction to maintenance of quality (Sumner, 2007). The process control became main concern of manufacturing resource planning and the system has also assisted in management of accounting and finance along with management system and handling of manufacturing material. In spite of offering huge benefits regarding management of system, the MRP II also has some shortcomings pertaining to management of production facility and inventories (Zhang, Lee, Zhang and Banerjee, 2003). This shortcoming was overcome with the emergence of an integrated system named as enterprise resource planning.

The concept of enterprise resource planning was firstly implied by Gartner group in 1990s who have implied the enterprise resource planning for connecting all the departments of an organisation. The growth of enterprise resource planning was evinced in year 2000, when both the small and large corporation began to adopt enterprise resource planning to replace their legacy system. The enterprise resource planning was the updated version of MRP II which have encompassed relational data base management, graphical user interface and client server architecture. Similarly, the main features of enterprise resource planning which have made it significant is its integration with inventory, human resources and financial departments (Nah and Delgado, 2006). The organisations were also encouraged to set prices and carry out financial reporting in an effective way.

The enterprise resource planning has assisted the firms to make decisions in timely manner which is the requirement of highly competitive business environment. The benefits of enterprise resource planning in the way of competitive advantage has led to the contribution of enterprise resource planning in business strategy (Holland, Light and Gibson, 1999). The initial version of enterprise resource planning was focusing on back office functions and the updated version which is ERP II has gained prominence in terms of its contribution in customer relationship management, supply chain management. The relationship with suppliers and customers can both managed effectively through ERP by allowing them real time access to the system.

Figure 1. Evolution of enterprise resource planning

Source: Zhang, Lee, Zhang and Banerjee (2003)

2.3 Socio materiality theory

The socio materiality offers the way of utilising technology in the workplace by combining the social and material aspects together. According to researcher the socio materiality theory deals with the critical observation of technology usage at workplace. The human factor and technological factors are studied in combine and it had gained excellence in the information system field (Sun, Yazdani and Overend, 2005). The socio materiality theory helps in defining the enterprise resource planning systems and its integration with the social factors within organisation (Fui-Hoon Nah, Lee-Shang and Kuang, 2001). The theory justifies the fact that each information technology system is handled and managed through people and effective integration of skills of technical staff can boost up the performance levels of organisation through implementation of enterprise resource planning.

2.4 The dynamic capabilities theory

The notion of dynamic capabilities is the extension of resource based view of the firm which is aimed at integrating the resources in continually changing business environment and it is also responsible for deployment of resources for better functioning of organisation (Stefanou, 1999). The dynamic capabilities theory is address the potential of an organisation to integrate and reconfigure the internal and external competencies of an organisation that can serve as the way of handling rapidly changing situations (Stadtler, 2005). The dynamic resource capabilities of an organisation help in combining the information technology aspect with the resources of the firm with an aim of gaining competitive advantage. They help in better response of customer’s needs in timely fashion and can offer greater congruence to organisation in highly dynamic environment.

The dynamic capability of the organisation refers to renewal of organisation in rapidly changing environment by responding to change in timely fashion (Jacobs and Bendoly, 2003). Therefore, it offers high flexibility to the organisation by developing the firm’s capabilities to change, integrate and reconfigure the skills and resources of organisation. The contribution of enterprise resource planning to boost up the capabilities of organisation can be best explained theoretically by relying I dynamic capabilities theory.

2.5 Enterprise Resource Planning- Detailed view

The construct of ERP which has been considered in the current research is encompassing the most diverse set of ERP activities including; integration, configuration, adaptation and user training.

Integration: The aspect of integration is associated with the extent to which organisations can rely on achieving unity among the various departments and modules of organisation. It helps in combing the physical factors of the organisation with information by combining sub systems of the organisation (Croxton, Garcia-Dastugue, Lambert and Rogers, 2001). The enterprise resource planning which lacks effective integration is less effective than organisations which succeed in effective integration of organisation’s processes. The integration of enterprise resource planning system is carried out with functional modules, business application software, legacy systems and suppliers. The integration of modules holds significant importance and it is comprised of modules of product planning, purchasing from suppliers, inventory management, accounting, finance, human resource management, manufacturing, product distribution and marketing (Su and Yang, 2010). All of the ERP modules are not necessary to be implemented by all the organisation and they can select enterprise resource planning modules based on their technical and economic capability.

Moreover, the enterprise resource planning is develops the combination of strategies, technologies and processes to enable the effective functioning of business organisation. Some of the instances of enterprise resource planning components which require effective integration is; manufacturing executive system, advanced planning and scheduling system, customer relationship management, supply chain management and knowledge management (Guoqiu, 2002). In order to effectively utilise the enterprise resource planning in an organisation, there is a need to rely on standardisation of data to share information among different divisions and software. Along with this, some organisations rely on collection and management of information through legacy system for number of years and their reliance on enterprise resource planning requires integration of system with legacy system (Markus, Tanis and Van Fenema, 2000). The integration of enterprise resource planning with legacy system is inevitable for to survival, operations and growth of the organisation in long run. It has been highlighted by the researchers that organisations who rely on effective and higher level of integration in enterprise resource planning are the one having higher levels of performance (Nicolaou, 2004). Therefore, it can be argued that integration plays significant role in successful implementation of enterprise resource planning and it can develop the organisation’s capabilities to gain higher level of performance.

Configuration: The configuration of the organisation’s processes with the enterprise resource planning packages in inevitable for the success of enterprise resource planning system within an organisation. The configuration helps in finding the match between business processes and enterprise resource planning with an aim of gaining its greater advantages. It has been asserted by the researchers that the success of enterprise resource planning implementation mainly depends on organisation’s compatibility with the enterprise resource planning (Sun, Yazdani and Overend, 2005). Along with this, it is important to note that implementation of enterprise resource planning fosters number of changes within organisation that are needed to be cautiously managed for the success of business. The configuration of organisation with enterprise resource planning mainly requires adjustments in structure and culture of the organisation (Subba Rao, 2000). The structure of organisation for carrying out integration through enterprise resource planning needs to be falter and the culture of openness needs to be encouraged. Along with this, it requires training of potential employees with an aim of ensuring smooth operations after implementation of enterprise resource planning. Along with this, it has been highlighted by the contingency theorists that there should be a good fit of enterprise resource planning system with the contingency variables of the organisation. The contingency variables of the organisation mainly include; strategy, structure, size, environment of the organisation and individual characteristics (Stefanou, 1999). The misfit between the enterprise resource planning and characteristics of the organisation can raise the conflict among the system details and performance of the organisation. Therefore, it can be argued that success of enterprise resource planning mainly depends on higher level of compatibility among the organisation’s processes and procedures with the software package of enterprise resource planning.

Adapt: The adaptation refers to the extent to which an organisation show willingness to accept the changes pertaining to implementation of enterprise resource planning. The organisation also copes with the challenges in the external environment with an aim of adjusting effectively with the new technology (Umble, Haft and Umble, 2003). The adaptation holds significant importance due to rapidly changing business environment and it is referred to as a reciprocal process in which the system and environment requires adaptation simultaneously (Yang and Liang, 2003). The extensive importance is given to adaptation based on the notion that there always arise issues regarding incompatibility of system with the environment of organisation. Given this condition the adaptation refers to the changes which take place during the implementation of new technology in given organisation.

Moreover, it is note able that each organisation has unique context and environment and the extent to which adaptation is carried out during implementation of enterprise resource planning, defines the success of new system in an organisation (Guoqiu, 2002). The process of adaptation takes place in three different steps. The first step refers to development, installation and maintenance of the new information technology system which is inevitable for effective installation of the enterprise resource planning system. In the second stage, procedures of organisation are developed and they are being revised in the light of requirements of the new information technology system (Somers and Nelson, 2001). The final stage of adaptation refers to training of organisational members towards handling of new procedures and new information technology which is being laid by implementation of enterprise resource planning system. The importance of adaptation is being highlighted by number of researchers as it contributes significantly in defining the performance levels of organisation after implementation of enterprise resource planning (Soh, Kien and Tay-Yap, 2000).

User Training:  the enterprise resource planning is not any relevant with the technical aspects of the organisation but it is also a people’s project. Therefore, the training of users is crucial which refers to development of technical staff who are responsible for effective implementation of the system (Nicolaou, 2004). The aspect of user training is justifiable by the fact that success of any newly implemented enterprise resource planning system is not based only on effective handling of technology change but it is also associated with effectiveness of change in structures and personnel of the organisation. In the light of this argument, the user training is of significant importance in defining the success of enterprise resource planning system within an organisation (Markus, Tanis and Van Fenema, 2000). The concept of user training is associated with training, development and retention of technical workforce with an aim of enhancing their understanding regarding changes that will be brought by implementation of enterprise resource planning.

The user training is crucial for reducing the level of resistance among the members of organisation and it is found to be positively associated with the success of enterprise resource planning (Mabert, Soni and Venkataramanan, 2003). The organisations who rely on education programs of internal users are more likely to implement enterprise resource planning system in an effective way. The education programs for users help in better understanding of system by the users and reduces problems which can hinder performance of enterprise resource planning system. Along with this, the onsite support for end users is also important in defining the effective functioning of organisation after implementation of enterprise resource planning.

2.6 Association of ERP Implementation with performance

The effective implementation of ERP is key success factor in defining the positive impacts of ERP on organisational performance (Markus, Tanis and Van Fenema, 2000). It has been highlighted by Yang and Liang (2003) that rational approach for implementation of ERP is mainly comprised of two facets, the preparation of people and preparation of technical system. The end user training refers to preparation of people, whereas, integration, configuration and adaptation are the important components of system preparation (Mabert, Soni and Venkataramanan, 2003). All of these components can combine to define the effectiveness of ERP system within an organisation.

The construct of organisation’s performance that has been implied in current study is comprised of five components including; cost performance, product variety, delivery reliability, time to market and quality. The cost performance is the extent to which organisations can reduce cost of manufacturing and it can offer low priced products to its customers (Umble, Haft and Umble, 2003). The cost effective organisations have the potential to lower their administrative and overhead costs and they can satisfy the needs of customers through low cost offerings. The ERP system has been considered as an important tool which can help in reduction of cost and improve performance of organisation. Along with this, the delivery reliability refers to the extent to which an organisation can deliver products as per schedule. According to researchers, the enterprise resource planning system of the organisation has the potential to effectively identify inventory levels and to ensure scheduling of production (Al-Mashari, Al-Mudimigh and Zairi, 2003). Likewise, it can configure distribution channels with an aim of ensuring delivery of products in time. Therefore, the performance of organisation can enhance based on effective enterprise resource planning system.

Moreover, it has been highlighted by the scholars that implementation of enterprise resource planning can ensure higher product variety and it can reduce the level of defects in products. By relying on effective enterprise resource planning system, the organisation can produce products according to the needs of their customers and they can offer high value to their customers (Stadtler, 2005). Therefore, by giving importance to the needs of customers and by maintaining higher standards of quality, the organisations can strengthen their customer base and they can increase level of their performance (Hunton, Lippincott and Reck, 2003). Along with this, the products problems can be easily detected by relying on enterprise resource planning and timely actions can be taken to ensure that high level of performance can be achieved.

The effective ERP system can boost up the ability of organisation to develop capabilities that are hard to imitate by the competitors. Similarly, it has been asserted by the researchers that effective information system of an organisation has an ability to define higher level of performance within organisation (Dzogbede and Afun, 2015). The ERP allows the organisations to increase efficiency of their business processes with an aim of enhancing product quality and delivering products in time (Al-Mashari, Al-Mudimigh and Zairi, 2003). The reliability also enhance through effective ERP system and overall cost of manufacturing can reduce, which can lead to improvement of organisational performance.

H1: Effective ERP system implementation of organisation will be positively related with organisational capabilities.

2.7 ERP Implementation and Organisational Capabilities

The capabilities of the organisation are its ability to carry out any given task by relying on available resources. More specifically, the capabilities or organisation are its internal systems and processes which help in satisfaction of customer’s needs (Hunton, Lippincott and Reck, 2003). The organisation with unique capabilities have set of attributes which are difficult to imitate by the competitors and therefore, can help the organisation in gaining competitive advantage. The capabilities which are continually used by the competitors are the one that cannot be imitated by the competitors and helps in offering unique competitive advantage to organisation (Ji, and Liu, 2010). It has been mentioned by the prior researchers that effective implementation of enterprise resource planning helps in gaining efficiency of the organisation that is relevant to cross functional coordination, access of information and improvement of organisation’s processes (Dzogbede and Afun, 2015). Along with this, the enterprise resource planning also encourages innovativeness within organisation and encourages product innovation. Moreover, the enterprise resource planning enhances flexibility and agility among the members of organisation to respond effectively to needs of customers.

The construct of organisation’s capabilities are comprised of six elements including the following; cross functional coordination, information access, process improvement, product innovation, flexibility and agility (Bishop and Hoover, 2006). The coordination among functional areas of the organisation is important in achieving goal congruence and helps in carrying out actions that are consistent across all departments. The cross functional coordination helps in integration of various functional areas and assists in performing activities which are significant for obtaining desired level of performance. Along with this, the information access refers to the ability of an organisation to gather and utilise information effectively for offering support to production process of organisation (Baharum, Ngadiman and Haron, 2008). The effective knowledge bases and data management systems of an organisation leads to timely decision making as less time is wasted in searching for information. Along with this, the quality of organisation’s processes and procedures also improves and it has a substantial impact on the performance improvement within organisation.

Along with this, the successful implementation of enterprise resource planning also contributes in improvement of organisation’s process such as scheduling, logistics and customer service. The process standardisation is mainly desired by most of the organisations after implementation of enterprise resource planning system and it helps in reduction of cycle times and helps in improving quality of organisation’s products (Al-Mashari, Al-Mudimigh and Zairi, 2003). Likewise, the enterprise resource planning also fosters new product innovation which is inevitable for success of an organisation in rapidly changing environment. In addition to it, the flexibility of the organisation to bring variety in products and to change effectively is also encouraged by the implementation of enterprise resource planning. Finally, the agility of the organisation is also enhanced through enterprise resource planning and it helps the organisation in responding proactively to changing conditions.

H2: Effective ERP system implementation of organisation will be positively related with organisation’s performance.

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3. Research Methodology

The present section is aimed at discussing the methods used to carry out this research. The current section is of huge significance as it offer justification for validity and generalizability of the study’s results. The reliability of the research depends on the appropriateness of research methodology which is being adopted by the researcher. It is an important decision for researcher to select the most appropriate methods to carry out study. Researcher must ensure that different parameters and vital characteristics of research have been used. The justification for methodology and detail will be discussed in this chapter.

Research Philosophy

The researchers are available with varying philosophies that can be implied in the research. The two significant philosophies are interpretivist and positivism. The interpretivists believe that there are multiple explanations for a particular phenomenon and they avoid implication of rigid structures (Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, 2012). The positivists on the other hand believe on single objective reality of research and consider research as independent of belief of views of the researcher.  In current study the researcher will practice interpretivist philosophy. The interpretivist philosophy of research has considered the researcher as an important part of the study as the researcher is responsible for administration of interviews and collection of data. The philosophy is based on the fact that interpretation of human factors and behaviour can help in clear understanding of the underlying notion. The enterprise resource planning system is being operated by the humans and their views are the best source to understand effectiveness of system within organization. Given these views, the results of current study will be free of bias and it will rely on data that will specifically be collected for the purpose of current study (Saunders et al, 2009). Hence, the researcher has selected interpretivist philosophy to reach to the conclusion, on the basis of collected data in most effective way.

3.1 Research Design

Among the research designs, there are two available choices; the primary and secondary research design. In primary research design, the fresh hand data is gained which is more specific about the underlying research issue. On the other hand, the secondary research design refers to utilisation of already collected data for studying the relation among variables. The current research is mainly relying on primary research design and the research will collect data specifically for the purpose of current study. The reason for relying on primary data collection is based on the fact that it offers the discretion to directly handle the underlying issue in an effective manner. Along with this, the data analysis can also be carried out more easily for primary data. Along with this, the updated data can be obtained which offers that research results will be core relevant with specific issue (Miles and Huberman, 1994). Additionally, the rationale of selecting this approach is that the data is self-obtained hence there are no doubts regarding the quality, reliability and validity of data (Yu and Cooper, 1983.). Therefore, on the basis of these facts, the primary data collection method has been selected.  

Likewise, under primary research design there are two available options which can be pursued by the research including; quantitative and qualitative. The qualitative design has been chosen in current research as the purpose is to obtain more detailed information about the enterprise resource planning and its benefits in the organisation.

3.2 Research Approach

            The validity and generalizability of study can be known with the help of selected method or approach. It is important for researchers to either focus on qualitative or quantitative approach. Both of the methods/approaches have pros and cons. However, in order to carry out in depth investigation of any underlying phenomenon, the most preferable and widely used method is qualitative method which allows the researcher to rely on details for gaining more comprehensive view of the underlying notion (Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, 2012). The qualitative data collection method is highly beneficial for examining any phenomenon that is highly diverse, by relying on subjective information. The qualitative design of research is in line with the interpretivist philosophy which relies on subjective information rather than objective realities. The qualitative study has higher level of flexibility which allows the researcher to respond to the concerns of the participants during the research session and thus more detailed data can be obtained. It is also notable that reliance on qualitative methodology leads to more reliable results and it also contributes in raising the generalizability of results. The data in qualitative research is obtained in naturalistic setting and it has more responsiveness for stake holders of the research. Moreover, the question of how can be answered appropriately by relying on qualitative research design. Therefore, in current study, the adoption of qualitative method of study can be considered as an effective selection due to minimum biasness and improved reliability and validity.

Among the qualitative design, the researcher can pursue from number of options including; focus group, interviews and observations for obtaining primary data. In present research, the data was obtained through interviews which is considered as over simplified kind of the research design (Miller and Salkind, 2002). In present research, the data was obtained from the structured interviews that are considered as an important source of gaining primary information in detailed manner. It has been highlighted by the researchers that reliance on interviews can help to obtain reliable as well as comparable data set. The interviews require higher level of flexibility in the approach of researcher that can help to provide keen understanding to the participants about underlying phenomenon (Eysenbach and Till, 2001). The role of researcher is highly prominent for the purpose of recording and analysing data in detailed manner. The cautions are required in carrying out interviews with an aim of establishing clear and comprehensive link among the purpose of research and understanding of the participants. In interviews, the data is mainly obtained through fewer number of participants and therefore, the less time is consumed for carrying out research. The Likewise, it has also been provided by the researchers that design is selected which is best suited to the research question and in current study the research questions can be best answered by relying on interviews.

Case Study

The current research is implying case study design as the focus of researcher will remain on one significant case that is Walmart in present research. Researcher Robert K. Yin defines the case study research method as a detailed inquiry that examines a current occurrence within its real-life context; when the boundaries between occurrence and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used (Cohen, Manion and Morrison, 2013). The appropriateness of case study can further be explained by the notion that it allows the effective understanding of complex phenomenon and it enhances the existing knowledge about underlying context. Furthermore, the case studies are considered as an appropriate source of carrying out contextual analysis on limited number of cases (Clement, 2000). The present research is aimed at finding the linkage of enterprise resource planning system’s implementation with performance and competitive advantage of the firm, which can be effectively carried out by focusing on single case. Therefore, given the appropriateness of the design, the present study has relied on case study approach.

3.3 Population

The population of current study is comprised of managerial level employees of Walmart. The selection of this population lies in the notion that the company is largest chain having business around the world and enterprise resource planning holds crucial importance for success of its operations.  Therefore, more detailed view on the topic can be obtained by focusing on employees of Walmart.  

3.4 Sampling Design and Technique

As per Miller and Salkind (2002) it is highly important to select the most appropriate sample design and techniques to find out the reliability of data. This consists of methods, with the help of which, sample can be selected and truly represented. The right technique of selecting the sample serve as the way of gaining truly representative sample of the population and it contributes in enhancing the generalizability of results to larger population. The population and sample must be selected on the basis of certain standards. Current study utilised non probability sampling technique. Among eth non probability sampling technique the purposive sampling has specifically been chosen. In purposive sampling method, the research has the discretion to choose respondents based on their suitability to the research. The reliance on purposive sampling technique is considered as an important approach for selecting the sample that is closely related with the population (Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, 2012). The purposive sampling method provides discretion to the researcher to select sample that has integrated knowledge about the underlying research issue. In present research, the participants are selected on the basis of their knowledge regarding enterprise resource planning and its applicability in their relevant organisation.

3.5 Sample Size

The sample size of current study is comprised of 5 managerial level members of Walmart who have enough knowledge of the enterprise resource planning of the Walmart. The managerial level respondents who are being selected in current research have closer interaction with the infromation technology. The managers that are being chosen in present research have integrated knwoledge of the enterprise resource planning system of the Walmart, therefore, they are most relevant for gaining data to answer underlying research questions.  According to Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin (2012), the smaller sample size is preferable as detailed information is required about the research issue.

3.6 Data Collection

The structured face to face interviews were carried out from the participants. Prior to codnucting interviews, the research letter was distributed in the focal organisation with an aim of gaining permission of research participants. The questions of the interviews were pre decided by the researcher and they remain consistent through out the sample. The questions of interviews have remianed same for all of participants and data was recorded with the purpose of standardising the data. In order to record the data, digital dectaphone as used and the silence was mainatined in research environmnet with an aim of avoiding distortion in recorded data. The interview time was mainatined between 15 to 20 minutes so that respondents have ample time for answering the questions of researcher. The interviews were concluded in three days. After the completion of interviews, they were transcribed in detailed manner with an aim of carrying out analysis in effective manner.

3.7 Reliability and Validity

The respondents which are being chosen for the current study are having more than five years of experience of working in Walmart and they are likely to have enough knowledge about the policies and practices of company. Therefore, the data which has been obtained from them is reliable and can relied for the valid results. Likewise, the questions of interviews have been checked for the face validity by showing them to subject matter expert with an aim of ensuring that they are well understood by the respondents. Therefore, it can be argued that data is reliable and valid and can help in answering the underlying research questions effectively.

3.8 Data Analysis Technique

            The unit of analysis in current study were individuals and their responses were recorded independent of each other, while carrying out transcription of interviews in MS Word. The transcript data was comprehensively analysed through content analysis of interviewees’ responses. The content analysis has allowed the researcher to answer the proposed research question in the light of study’s results.

3.9 Ethical Considerations

It is highly important to keep in mind the ethical norms and values while conducting any study or research (Schwartz-Shea and Yanow, 2013). There are different ethical standards that must be considered by researcher. For carrying out this study, researcher has focused on various ethical standards and norms. The researcher has made sure that none of the participant is personally identified and the information regarding sample is kept confidential. The participants or sample of this research were not pressurised to provide information at any cost. They willingly provided the information. The participants were given proper time for responding to interview questions in relaxed way. There was no biasness shown towards any participant in current research. Moreover, the respondents were offered discretion to withdraw from interview as per their will.

3.10 Interview Questions

  1. Does the integration of modules and transactions are being carried out in ERP system of your organisation?
  2. How can you state the integration of ERP with supply chain management and customer relationship management in your organisation?
  3. Does the ERP system supports business practices in your company?
  4. How can you define the flexibility of your organisation in terms of enterprise resource planning system?
  5. Do you think the adaptation is evident in your enterprise resource planning system?
  6. What is the level of user training in your company pertaining to enterprise resource planning system?
  7. What is the level of cost performance of your company after implementation of enterprise resource planning?
  8. Is there any effect of enterprise resource planning on product variety of your company?
  9. Does the quality and time to market for products are impacted by the adoption of enterprise resource planning?
  10. Have enterprise resource planning impacted the level of cross functional coordination in your company?
  11. Does enterprise resource planning enable the level of information access in your company?
  12. Does the process improvement fostered through ERP system in your company?
  13. How the level of flexibility and innovation are being affected by implementation of enterprise resource planning?
  14. Do you think the enterprise resource planning have any impact on the performance level of your company?
  15. Have the implementation of enterprise resource planning contributed in development of organisational capabilities?

Chapter Summary

The current research has adopted interpretivist philosophy that has focused on subjective information. The qualitative research design has been implied by the researcher to gain in depth view of research issue. The primary data has been obtained that was highly relevant to the underlying research phenomenon. The case study approach has been used and data has been obtained by conducting structured face to face interviews. The population of present research is Walmart and the sample of present research was chosen by relying on purposive sampling technique. The data was obtained from 5 managerial level employees of Walmart and data 15 to 20 minutes interviews were conducted from each respondent. The ethical values were considered significantly during the span of research and content analysis was implied for carrying answering the underlying research questions.

Chapter 4: Results

This chapter includes the testing of the hypothesised relationships of the variables of the present study. The qualitative content analysis is used to test the aforementioned hypotheses. Finally the results were presented and discussed in chronological order.

4.1Analysis

The interview was carried out from the employees of Walmart. The interview was started by the question that whether enterprise resource planning of company ensured integration of modules and transaction or not. According to respondents:

“The enterprise resource planning system of our organisation has effectively integrated business application software, functional modules and processes from entire organisation with an aim of combining information from all functional areas. Along with this, planning of products, management of human resources, management of information, knowledge management and manufacturing are also being linked through enterprise resource planning.” It has also been provided by one of the respondents that “enterprise resource planning has changed the way in which transactions are being carried out and increasing integration of key organisational processes and factors has enabled us to link technologies and operations together in a standardised form. The standardisation of data throughout the organisation has enhanced effectiveness of operations.”

Followed by this, the focus of interview has moved to integration of customer relationship management and supply chain management with enterprise resource planning system of the company. The results have mainly indicated that enterprise resource planning system of the Walmart is well integrated with customer relationship management and supply chain management. As offered by one of the respondent:

“The enterprise resource planning system of our company has enabled us to collect and manage information of customers in effective manner such that complaints of customers can be tracked with greater ease and they are responded in real time by the organisation. Its helps in catering the needs of customers and offering them high quality experience in stores, so that their satisfaction can be enhanced. Along with this, the relationship with suppliers is well managed as details of inventories are recorded in real time and order are automatically generated. Therefore, the purchasing is ensured in time and supply chain is managed smoothly.” Most of the respondents have shown agreement on the notion that implementation of enterprise resource planning system has enabled them to maintain healthier and high quality relationship with customers and suppliers and it has offered positive impact on overall performance of organisation as well.

Further moving through the interview, the interviewees were asked about the extent to which the enterprise resource planning system of their organisation is supporting business processes in their company. The focus was maintained on configuration aspect of enterprise resource planning system and evidences have offered that there is higher level of compatibility among perspectives of ERP and processes of organisation. It has been provided by the interviewees that:

“It is highly important for effectiveness of ERP to find a match between processes of organisation and requirements of ERP. The structure of the company is much flatter and it has fewer levels of hierarchy to ensure greater level of decentralisation. Along with this, the culture is open and it is encouraging an environment of innovation and creativity. The structure and culture have higher level of support for success of ERP within organisation.” Likewise, the respondents have offered that “Business practices of our company are mainly supported by enterprise resource planning system as there is higher level of alignment between the strategy and structure of the organisation. Along with this, higher level of access is granted to all employees to the ERP system which enables them to perform operations in effective way. The processes are well aligned with enterprise resource planning of our company which enhances efficiency of employees and offer greater advantages in terms of performance.”

The next question pertained to flexibility of the organisation which can foster effective implementation and working of enterprise resource planning within organisation. The answers of respondents have reflected that:

“The organisation have greater level of flexibility as the culture is open and structure is also decentralised. The organisation has successfully maintained to respond positively to change which has been carried out through adoption of enterprise resource planning. The system has enabled the company to manage change in the way which offer benefit in terms of performance improvement. Along with this, employees are well trained to handle new technology and to adapt new technological intervention with greater ease.” Therefore, the flexibility aspect is high in underlying organisation, as offered by another respondent: “the internal environment of the organisation s highly flexible and the implemented enterprise resource planning system also has higher level of responsiveness for changes in external environment. The system can easily adapt to cope with contingency variables. Both the system and processes of organisation are highly flexible and they complement changes required by situational factors.”

The last question relating to implementation of enterprise resource planning system has focused on the extent tow which users are trained for operating enterprise resource planning system within organisation. The interviewees have provided that:

“The employees in our organisation are offered training on regular basis to deal with technological intervention and development in the existing enterprise resource planning system. The employees have lower level of resistance for towards handling of technology and it is ensuring smooth operations of organisation by relying on enterprise resource planning system.” It is evident that enterprise resource planning system of the Walmart is successfully implemented and it has higher level of effectiveness in terms of integration, configuration, adaptation and user’s training.

The next set of questions in interview was based on exploring the dimension of organisational performance in the light of enterprise resource planning system. The respondents were firstly asked about the level of cost performance of their organisation after implementation of enterprise resource planning system. The respondents have provided that:

“Enterprise resource planning system of our company has significantly helped us in lowering the cost levels such that defects in products are reduced and their quality has enhanced which is offering huge satisfaction to customers and it is laying positive impact on revenue structure of the company as well. The administration cost and cost of putting manual efforts has reduced overhead costs as well. It has enabled the company to offer low prices products to the customers which has significantly strengthen customer base.” As mentioned by another participant: “The implementation of enterprise resource planning has helped the company in reduction of marketing cost, manufacturing cost, inventory control cost and cost of supporting customers. Along with this, it has enhanced productivity of customers which has lowered payroll cost and reduced administration cost as well.” Anther aspect has been revealed by a participant mentioning that: “Implementation of enterprise resource planning in Walmart has offered clear visibility of all financial issues, therefore the likely areas of savings are highlighted and it has reduced cost in effective manner. Along with this, integration of financial information and timely reporting of financial details of company has enabled the firm to reduce cost”.

Followed by this, the next question has focused on the effect of enterprise resource planning on product variety of the organisation. The product variety has been taken as the ability of an organisation to introduce products and services in manner which can help them to gain higher level of performance. The respondents have offered that:

“The enterprise resource planning system of Walmart has enabled the company to gain greater levels of compatibility between levels of market requirements of product variety and variety in operations of organisation. The operations of the company have significantly improved and the company has become able to produce products which are being demanded by the customer. The manufacturing flexibility of the company has also enhanced which is fostering development of new products and increase growth prospects of the organisation.” The view has been strengthen by response of another participant mentioning that: “the customer have higher demand for wide range and high quality products and enterprise resource planning has enabled the company to become more creative in featuring the products such that needs of customers can be satisfied in effective manner. Furthermore, the enterprise resource planning system of company is providing highly accurate forecast of sale and based on forecast, the manufacturing can be carried out in timely fashion.” The views of respondents have suggested that implementation of ERP has helped in managing the product variety and it has further enabled the company to introduce diverse range of products for meeting diverse needs of customers.”

Additionally, the last question of performance improvement of organisation through implementation of ERP focuses on the fact that how quality and time to market for products are impacted by the adoption of enterprise resource planning.  Both the quality and market time is significantly important for organisation to satisfy demands of customers and to gain huge share of market. The interviewees have offered that:

“The enterprise resource planning has enabled the manufacturing division to minimise defects in products. The enterprise resource planning system of the company is integrated with quality management system the company has successfully gained compliance with international quality standards. The tools of quality improvement are well integrated with operations and manufacturing division of the company and it has helped in offering high quality products in market. Likewise, the enterprise resource planning system has enhanced efficiency of production and the products are delivered at perfect time to market.  The timely delivery pf product is serving as the way of reducing cost and it enhances competitiveness of organisation as well.” The same has been mentioned by another respondent that: “Enterprise resource planning system has integrated all divisions of the organisation and it has the potential to highlight issues and production and design of products. The defects are easily highlighted and minimised through enterprise resource planning system and problem free products are offered to customers. The enterprise resource planning system of the organisation has offered opportunities for communication and reduced the time of communication among various divisions of organisation. The tactical decision making process has improved due to ERP implementation and it has enabled the company to deliver products in market in time.”

Further, the last section of interview has maintained its focus on association of enterprise resource planning on organisation’s capabilities. The organisation’s capabilities are measured in terms of six factors including; cross functional coordination, information access, process improvement, product innovation, flexibility and agility. The response of participant is as follows:

“The enterprise resource planning system of our company has enhanced the level of cross functional coordination in the way that information from different departments is gathered in effective manner and it can be viewed by the all concerning individuals. For instance the information about inventory from ware house can be viewed by the supply chain management sectional, where they can make order for required material in timely manner.” It has also been offered that “Enterprise resource planning system has helped in integration of business units of Walmart and it has offered way of successfully integrating marketing, human resource management, finance and other areas of organisation. The higher level of integration being offered by enterprise resource planning has offered way of gaining high quality in various areas of organisation.”

Followed by this, the employees were asked that how enterprise resource planning enabled the level of information access in the focal company. It has been offered by the participants that:

“The implementation of enterprise resource planning system has increased the ability of organisation to gather information huge efficiency such that decisions can be made in timely manner. The knowledge management abilities of the organisation has enhanced as the ERP system provides integrated view of information across all functional areas of organisation. The ERM system has constructed the data ware house and the data can be accessed from any stake holder with greater ease. It has been provided by another participant that: “Enterprise resource planning system has helped the company in offer up to date view of information which has eased the decision making process and actual costs and gains of the organisation can be easily tracked. The organisation has become an effective knowledge based organisation.” Based on these responses it can be argued that enterprise resource planning system of the Walmart has enabled the company to gain access to the information.

Furthermore, the interview has moved further that how the process improvement are fostered through ERP system in your company. The respondents have offered huge evidences that are in support of the notion that ERP system has improved processes of Walmart. According to the response of one participant:

“The implementation of enterprise resource planning has improved logistics production schedules and it has helped in enhancing effectiveness of operations of the organisation as well. The processes are well standardised and the quality of overall processes of the company has got improved. The enterprise resource planning system has also reduced the cycle time of production and the organisation has enabled to deliver products in time in market.” The view has strengthen by response of another participant stating that: “Enterprise resource planning system has helped in improving the effectiveness of manufacturing process, operations and other required functions in the way that overall effectiveness of organisation has improved much.”

Moreover, it was asked from respondents that how the level of flexibility and innovation are being affected by implementation of enterprise resource planning. The respondents have offered that:

“The implementation of enterprise resource planning system of the Walmart has mainly contributed in shifting the culture of organisation to enhance the level of flexibility and innovation. The system has allowed the company to obtain view of competitive market opportunities and improvement in manufacturing and operational capacity of the organisation has enabled the company to respond quickly to market opportunities with innovative market solution. Likewise, the ERP system has helped the company in sensing the opportunity of market and grabbing new opportunities with greater speed.” It has been mentioned by another respondent that: “The ERM implementation of the company has encouraged the higher level of operational flexibility in Walmart which is serving as the way of bringing rapid innovation. Along with this, the ERP system helps in ensuring needs of customers and early adoption of technology has also fostered. The organisation has become flexible and agile to the extent that it is considered as one of market leader.”

In line with this, the interview has continued and employees were asked about the impact of enterprise resource planning on performance of their respective organisation. The participants have provided that:

“Implementation of enterprise resource planning system has added positively in the improvement of operations and processes of the company and has enhanced the ability of company to offer high quality products and to maintain good relationship with customers. The employees are kept trained and they have been motivated to act with huge flexibility to deal with contingency factors. The productivity of employees has improved and they are well committed to work for betterment of organisation. Likewise, the effective integration of all operational areas and greater level of coordination among business units has improved ability of organisation to perform their operations. Similarly, reduction of cost, availability of significant market shares and offering variety in product has assisted the company in maintaining higher levels of performance.”

It has been offered by another respondent that:

“The ERP system has encouraged the company to use its processes with greater easy and speed such that company has remained at top of delivering higher quality products to its customers. Likewise, the system has helped in building the data base of customers and by analysing information of customer, good relationship can be maintained with them. Likewise the processes of organisation have improved including; procurement processes, development of new product and manufacturing of high quality products. Along with this, the time to market has also reduced and the cost minimisation has enabled the company to gain huge revenues. In turn, the overall performance of organisation has improved.”

Finally, the interviewees were asked about the extent to which implementation of enterprise resource planning contributed in development of organisational capabilities. The respondents have offered that:

“The ERP system has enhanced level of integration between different business units and operational areas of organisation and has enhanced the ability of organisation to achieve desired levels of productivity. Along with integration of processes the quality of organisational areas has also enhanced through effective ERP system. Similarly, the huge coordination between supply and demand information has also obtained through effective ERP system and the capability of organisation to enhance higher performance levels have improved. The innovation capability of the organisation has also improved and the huge flexibility serves as the way of gaining higher performance.”

4.2 Chapter Summary

The evidences from current study have suggested that implementation of enterprise resource planning in effective manner has contributed significantly in improving the capability and performance of organisation. The Walmart has implemented enterprise resource planning system by relying on higher level of integration between processes and operations including; supply chain, logistics, and customer relationship management. Along with this, the enterprise resource planning system of the Walmart is well configured across all departments including; marketing, human resource management, finance and manufacturing.  The results have also reflected that organisation is highly adaptable and it has implemented user training programs for implementation of enterprise resource planning system. The evidences were also found about the association of enterprise resource planning system with capabilities of organisation and performance of organisation. The hypothesised relationships presented in second section of the study are well supported with the results of current study.

 

 

Chapter 5: Discussion and Implications

The current section is aimed at discussing the key findings of the current research. The key results of present study will be detailed in comparison with the prior work which has been carried by other researchers. Along with this, the implications of the study’s findings are mentioned both for practice and theory. Moreover, the potential limitations which can affect the generalization of results have been mentioned. Followed by this, in the light of limitations, future guidance about research relating to enterprise resource planning are being mentioned. Finally, the overall conclusion of the research study has been provided.

5.1 Key Findings

The prime aim of current research study was to investigate likely association of effective implementation of enterprise resource planning with performance and capabilities of organisation. The results of current research have contributed significantly to the fulfilment of study’s aim by providing an evidence of association among underlying variables of study. The results have depicted alignment with prior researches which have investigated the similar phenomenon and reaffirmed the importance of enterprise resource planning within an organisation (Soh, Kien and Tay-Yap, 2000; Somers and Nelson, 2001; Umble, Haft and Umble, 2003).

The first objective of present research was to investigate the association of effective implementation of enterprise resource planning with capabilities of organisation. It is based on the notion that when enterprise resource planning system is implemented in effective manner then it enhances adaptability and fosters innovation, process improvement and productivity within organisation. The enterprise resource planning has enhanced the knowledge management and data management abilities of the organisation as well. Along with this, the ability of organisational members to access information also increases and all of the units and departments can be coordinated in an efficient and effective manner. The process improvement has also encouraged through implementation of enterprise resource planning and the time of processing products has reduced to the extent that ability of organisation to produce high quality products has enhanced. Therefore, the overall capabilities of organisation to work with their full potential also increases. All of these findings are in line with the views of previous researches, which have incorporated the similar issue and indicated that enterprise resource planning can help in strengthen the capability potential of organisation (Hunton, Lippincott and Reck, 2003; Ji, and Liu, 2010; Dzogbede and Afun, 2015; Al-Mashari, Al-Mudimigh and Zairi, 2003; Baharum, Ngadiman and Haron, 2008).

Secondly, the focus of following research was on investigating the association of enterprise resource planning system effectiveness with improvement of organisational performance. The evidences form current study have suggested that effective enterprise resource planning system is serving as the way of attaining higher level of performance within organisation. The high performance levels are attainable based on the notion that effective enterprise resource planning system enables the organisation to produce cost effective and high quality products and then deliver them in time to market. Thus, the satisfaction of customers can be achieved and overall performance level of organisation improves. The results are in line with the results of previous studies (Al-Mashari, Al-Mudimigh and Zairi, 2003; Dzogbede and Afun, 2015; Mabert, Soni and Venkataramanan, 2003; Yang and Liang, 2003; Markus, Tanis and Van Fenema, 2000).

5.2 Limitations

Instead of having implications for research and practice, the current study is exposed to some limitations as well, which guide that generalization should be carried out carefully. The association of enterprise resource planning with performance and capabilities of organisation is a causal phenomenon and the adopted methodology is not much appropriate in this case. The causation needs to be studied over time and it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive longitudinal study with an aim of understanding the causation over time. However, by looking at the time constraint, in case of current study, the current research design was appropriate.

Along with this, the chosen variables are just few out of whole set of practices that can define the effectiveness of enterprise resource planning system and they may not reflect the construct in an accurate manner. The exclusion of some of core variables can cause biasness in the results of the study and they might not reflect the association in an appropriate manner. In addition to it, the social desirability bias can also be considered as an important limitation of the current study, which is indicative of the notion that responses of people are usually in the direction which is socially acceptable. Therefore, all of these factors are needed to be considered by while generalizing the results of research in a wide setting.

5.3 Directions for Future Research

Although the present research has mainly contributed in enhancing the understanding of the association between effective enterprise resource planning and organisational performance and organisational capabilities. Yet, there were few limitations which are needed to be considered by the future researchers. In order to provide a comprehensive view of the association of enterprise resource planning with performance and capabilities of organisation, it is important for future researchers to pursue the longitudinal design. Along with this, as mentioned in limitations, current research has considered only capabilities and performance as the consequences of effective enterprise resource planning system of organisation and it is necessary for the future researchers to consider other aspects to understand that whether these factors are more important than others or not. Similarly, the future researchers can also use the negatively worded sentences in their interview questions or scale with an aim of reducing the effect of social desirability bias form the results.

5.4 Recommendations

The findings of current research have many implications both for theory and practice. Firstly, in terms of practical implications, the results of current qualitative study can be considered as an important guideline by the practitioners to adopt practices for adopting enterprise resource planning within organisation. The mangers can realise the importance of well-coordinated enterprise resource planning in shaping performance of organisation and productivity of employees. They can modify their system and policies in the direction which fosters innovation and encourage employees to perform better.

Along with this, the importance of integration in enterprise resource planning system can be realised by the organisations in the way that they can ensure higher interlinked processes and practices within organisation. The organisation can higher experts for effectively implementing their enterprise resource planning system and they can find out that adaptability in the only key for reaping fruits of an effective enterprise resource planning system. Similarly, by knowing about the importance of training in ERP system, the managers can arrange training and awareness programs for employees to increase their level of acceptability. The results of study can guide mangers to focus on enhancing the level of adaptability and in this way they can implicate findings for management of change within their organisation. Likewise, the organisations can rely on high configuration of their enterprise resource planning system with the procedures and processes of the overall organisation with an aim of realising increasing performance level. Therefore, it can be argued that by relying on results of current study, the organisations can enhance their ability of effectively implementing enterprise resource planning system and they can align their culture, structure and other processes with the system, in order to obtain increased performance and organisational capabilities.

Secondly, in terms of theoretical implications, the results of current study have contributed significantly in growing stream of extant literature. It has positively added in the theory of socio materiality and dynamic capability and provided an evidence that effectively implemented enterprise resource planning system can play significant role is defining performance levels of organisation. Along with this, the linkage with organisational capabilities is offering a new paradigm in the literature of enterprise resource planning system and performance that has added significantly in academic asset. Therefore, the results of current research are significantly important for theoretical perspectives and it has offered substantial guidelines for future researchers as well.

5.5 Reflections

The current research has added substantially in understanding of effective implementation of ERP and the research has been effectively covered during the set span of time. The study has contributed significantly in fulfilment of study’s objectives and the outcomes of research are in line with the initial expectations of the researcher. The study has offered substantially that how effective implementation of ERP can offer benefits to organisations in terms of improved performance and capabilities of organisation. The study was well planned and it added positively in experience of researcher.  

5.6 Conclusion            

In summary, the current research has motivated by the notion that ERP is an important factor which can help to strengthen organisational capabilities and it is important to meet the goals of high performance of organisations. The research has considered implementation of ERP as the predictor of organisational capabilities as it plays significant role in enhancing innovative and flexibility aspects of the organisation. The study was conducted on Walmart and the results have indicated that organisations which have the potential to effectively ERP are the one which have gained from increasing performance of capabilities of organisation. The results of study have implications both for research and practice. The study have guided future research as well.

 

 

 

 

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