Title: ERP selection through business relationships – adaptations or connections

Authors: Peter Ekman, Peter Thilenius

Addresses: School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology, Malardalen University, P.O. Box 883, SE-721 23 Vasteras, Sweden. ' Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: This article analyses how a generic form of information technology (IT), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, can be selected by companies to enhance their business. ERP systems are a means of becoming more efficient through predefined standard functions called |best practices|. Following the theory that markets are made up of business relationships in a network context, managerial advice would be to assess the vendor|s existing business relationships. A company can harvest the inherent functions that an ERP system has from the vendor|s prior interaction with other customers. This paper discusses how a company benefits from engaging in a new business relationship with an ERP vendor to become more competitive. However, this relationship is double-edged. A lesson is that the functions developed by the ERP vendor and the customer only offer a temporal competitive advantage, given that it can be used later in the ERP vendor|s other connected business relationships.

Keywords: information technology; enterprise resource planning; ERP selection; best practice; business relationships; adaptation; connections; network infusion; case study; business networks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2011.037858

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2011 Vol.3 No.1, pp.63 - 83

Published online: 22 Oct 2014 *

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