Working title for the dissertation is ‘Business Analysis of Large-sized Enterprises Applying ERP System in China’. In this proposal I focus on ERP system applications in Chinese large-sized enterprises. While some studies exist in this respect, they seem to be completely isolated and even expressing contradictory results at places. Therefore, I will provide an expository research on existing literatures related to ERP applications in China.
It aims to specify studies with Chinese large-sized firms, and to be oriented towards ERP system in business management category, that means I will have a particular emphasis in business concept, and avoiding confusing theory related to ERP software in IT industry. And also focus on key topics and issues related to new western ERP systems including information sharing strategies model and integrating E-Operations inventory system, both from the literature review and putting them into perspective.
For extracting organisations as a specialized research aspect, the outcomes of the dissertation intend to provide a more specific view of current ERP implementations in China, especially regarding the provided references and facilitate large-sized organisations obtain their respective suggestions, while avoiding obstacles for the future adoption. 3 Motive and principal research question/problem
The aim of this research is to question the nature of large-sized enterprises in China and its implication with ERP software. Understanding such effects may enable them to be more proactive in planning for multinational ERP implementation. Mainstream ERP research emphasises their studies basic on western ERP package implementations (Davison, 2002). In contrast, my research focuses on Chinese enterprises and the implementation of Chinese style ERP packages.
Firstly, the reason I select my research site as China is that it is a prominent market. The ERP industry has experienced a high growth in China in last decade. Being encouraged by Chinese government and threatened by overseas rivals after accession to the World Trade Organization, more and more domestic enterprises selected ERP systems. According to Ge and Voï¿½ (2009), the number of Chinese companies had adopted ERP systems had increased by 200% in 2003.
On the other hand, China is an un-developed well market for ERP. With this tremendous ERP model expanding worldwide, the ERP successful implementation rate in China is reported as extremely low at around 10%, compared with the global average of 33% (Zhang et al., 2002). Particularly in Chinese large-sized enterprises, invest a lot of money and the failure always cause the very large losses (Scheer and Habermann, 2000).
Secondly, the reason I select large-sized enterprises to do research is that, they provide mainstream productivity in Chinese industry. They are considered as a model for other companies to copy, in order to enable the whole industry developing under the certain circumstance. However, a majority of large-sized enterprises are manufactory enterprises which macro-controlled by the government. With restrict policy and capitals arranging, it is difficult for them to survive or recover quickly from a failed implementation (Muscatello et al., 2003). That situation will cause significant problem in Chinese society.
Therefore, it needs to collect, analyze and disseminate information concerning Chinese large-sized companies and their implementation of ERP systems. The outcome of this research is expected to be valuable regarding general advice to other state-owned companies concerning ERP implementation. Meanwhile, my future career scope will follow this pattern, that is working in a Chinese large state-owned firm and assist in management. I also want to gain some knowledge and plan a research project to pursue my interest within the context of my placement organisation. Thirdly, compared with the developing world, the speed of Chinese ERP implementation growing is still lower and strand in a dilemma. It is time to understand that they should break through the shackles of the old conventions but get advanced western technology to utilize in local enterprises.
Principle research questions
As mentioned before, ERP can be seen as an important concept in enterprise management, but most past ERP implementation researches focus on technologies or a general business scope (Markus, et al, 2000; Liang, et al, 2004), and normally point to the failure of applying in the real world(Liang et al, 2004; Avison & Malaurent, 2008). Under the global information, Chinese large-sized enterprises do face many failures when applying ERP system, but there are still so many firms continuous fulfil this system. From the western ERP system experience, there should be some potential theories we can learn, and more and more ERP challenges of Chinese state-owned enterprises worth to be concerned.
As concerning at above aspects, this paper is guided by the following research question as main principle research question related to ERP implementation: Describe and explain a real-life ERP implementation as a primary case while combining with ERP models, and find out the specific difficulties or strengths of ERP implementation in Chinese large-sized enterprises. Apart from that, in this proposal I intend to assume that beside culture, language and other external factors, there may be more internal factors existing inside the enterprise causing failure. Basically, this attempt has been made to address four main questions not commonly addressed in other studies on ERP implementation, and the dissertation will be guided by these research questions related to ERP implementation:
1. How can I describe and explain a real-life ERP implementation as the primary case effectively using some ERP model? 2. What are the specific difficulties of ERP implementation in Chinese large-sized enterprises? 3. The impact and solutions of western experiences dealing with projects and which can be used to solve major difficulties effectively. 4. And how can we utilize experiences of western ERP implementation to promote state-owned firms’ operation. 4 Innovations with explicit reference to the relevant existing literature.
ERP is an information system that supports to manage all vital operations within a firm, such as: logistics coordination, operations and financial management. It seeks to integrate and streamline a large portion and work flows of a business by using Software system, and provide information accessible to a wide variety of individual components (Jacobs and Whybark, 2000). ‘Once ERP systems are successfully implemented, significant benefits such as improved customer service, better production scheduling, and reduced manufacturing costs can be gained’ (Ge ; Vo, 2009, p.501).
To support an effective coordination of a firm’s activities, more and more firms are implementing ERP systems. Without exception, Chinese enterprises have been involved in this trend (Zhang et al, 2005). It used to consider that Chinese large and middle sized enterprises are the potential ERP users (Huang & Palvia, 2001). At present, large enterprises still take the most important components of Chinese economy and maintain the main ERP users (Liang & Xue, 2004). However, limited researches have been done to specialize in Chinese large enterprises’ problems or suggest countermeasures in implementation of ERP system.
Under different cultural background and lacking of professional personal (Liang et al, 2004), more and more problems appeared, such as the slow pace of information delivery and poor coordination within the organization. Besides, the language causes communication barriers between Chinese users and international ERP vendors (Liang ; Xue, 2004). Apart from principle, United States Intelligence Community (2008) published the ‘information sharing strategies’, and it is considered as the comparatively structural model to integrate E-Operations inventory system with ERP Systems to practice(USIC, 2008). As mentioned above, although ERP software vendors are experiencing global expansion, more methods are needed when applying the ERP system in China.