Exploring the competitive advantage through ERP systems : from implementation to applications in agile networks
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management
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|Academic dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of Technology of the University of Oulu, for public defence in Raahensali (Auditorium L10), Linnanmaa, on February 29th, 2008, at 12 noon
Professor Petri Helo
Professor Tuomo Kässi
The purpose of this thesis is to contribute empirical evidence focusing on sustainable competitive advantage through ERP systems. It identifies the shift towards strategic positioning while moving in different ERP stages and industrial environments. The work starts from the premise that advanced ERP processes are simply commodities insinuating competitive convergence. The literature considers IT and strategy but few texts deal with understanding ERP resources over time in order to become source of sustainable advantage. As companies undergo transformation or strive to develop new approaches to competition, it is particularly significant to investigate this venture.
The exploratory inquiry in this dissertation aims to develop insights by a combination of qualitative and quantitative research traditions. The dual approach seeks to integrate the best research practices for contribution to the pertinent stakeholders. The first section is the introductory part followed by publications including case studies and surveys conducted on the basis of the gaps identified between theory and practice.
The work is limited in scope and the intention is to appreciate knowledge acquired from the studies instead of drawing rigid extensive conclusions. However, the study traces that the ERP systems do provide competitive advantage, the sustainability depending on integrating to meet the business needs and building uniqueness. The implication is to capitalize on the potential of ERP, the idea being not to imitate competitors but to tailor applications to the company’s overall strategy.
Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
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