Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discussion on enterprise resource planning (ERP) system adoption by investigating the relationship of enterprise size to the objectives and constraints of ERP adoption. Design/methodology/approach – In the paper, survey data, based on the responses of 44 companies, are analyzed, by dividing the companies into small, medium‐sized, and large enterprises; and comparing these groups, using statistical methods. Findings – The paper finds significant differences exist between small, medium‐sized and large enterprises regarding the objectives and constraints of ERP system adoption. While small enterprises experience more knowledge constraints, large enterprises are challenged by the changes imposed by ERP adoption. Further, large and medium‐sized enterprises are more outward‐oriented in ERP adoption than small enterprises. Business development, as opposed to mere efficiency improvement, while being the most prevalent objective for ERP adoption in all the company groups, is considered especially important by medium‐sized enterprises. Finally, the findings suggest that, instead of considering small and medium‐sized enterprises as one homogeneous group of smaller enterprises, differences between these two groups of companies should be acknowledged in information system adoption. Research limitations/implications – The paper shows that the Finnish context and the sample size should be taken into consideration when generalizing the findings. Practical implications – The paper points out the differences in objectives and constraints between companies of different sizes that should be acknowledged in ERP adoption. Originality/value – Instead of resorting to the customary approach of considering small and medium‐sized enterprises as a homogeneous group of smaller enterprises, this study acknowledges the differences between these two groups of companies.
Journal of Enterprise Information Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 24, 2007
Keywords: Small and medium‐sized enterprises; Finland; Resource allocation
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