Divided We Fall: A Case Study of ERP Implementation Failure in a Middle Eastern Country
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ERP system implementation allows organisations to integrate different departments working in silos, while allowing them to have real-time business visibility and access to centralised information. ERP implementation is fraught with challenges and requires substantial resources and effort with no guarantee of success. The study of ERP implementation is limited mostly to developed countries, but the need for ERP implementation in developing countries is growing. However, many organisations are reluctant to adopt ERP systems, due to lack of implementation experience and fear of a failed implementation. To improve our understanding of what may lead to implementation failure in developing countries, this study adopts a case study research methodology to investigate a failed ERP implementation in a Middle Eastern country, and the critical success factors (CSFs) which contribute towards failure. The findings identify factors, including country and organisational culture, lack of change management strategies, system choice, customisation, and internal politics as contributing towards implementation failure. This study provides insights into the role of CSFs in ERP implementation failure in developing countries. The critical factors identified, appear to be correlated, meaning changes in one factor, will have an impact on another. The study provides organisational guidance for planning implementation strategy, based on the role of CSFs during implementation. Further, by drawing on the findings, we relate how an organisation can better utilise and prioritise CSFs to avoid a failed implementation.