Managing enterprises and ERP systems: a contingency model for the enterprization of operations

Ben Clegg, Yi Wan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems development and emerging practices in the management of enterprises (i.e. parts of companies working with parts of other companies to deliver a complex product and/or service) and identify any apparent correlations. Suitable a priori contingency frameworks are then used and extended to explain apparent correlations. Discussion is given to provide guidance for researchers and practitioners to deliver better strategic, structural and operational competitive advantage through this approach; coined here as the "enterprization of operations".
Design/methodology/approach: Theoretical induction uses a new empirical longitudinal case study from Zoomlion (a Chinese manufacturing company) built using an adapted form of template analysis to produce a new contingency framework.
Findings: Three main types of enterprises and the three main types of ERP systems are defined and correlations between them are explained. Two relevant a priori frameworks are used to induct a new contingency model to support the enterprization of operations; known as the dynamic enterprise reference grid for ERP (DERG-ERP).
Research limitations/implications: The findings are based on one longitudinal case study. Further case studies are currently being conducted in the UK and China.
Practical implications: The new contingency model, the DERG-ERP, serves as a guide for ERP vendors, information systems management and operations managers hoping to grow and sustain their competitive advantage with respect to effective enterprise strategy, enterprise structure and ERP systems.
Originality/value: This research explains how ERP systems and the effective management of enterprises should develop in order to sustain competitive advantage with respect to enterprise strategy, enterprise structure and ERP systems use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1458-1489
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


  • supply chain management
  • enterprise resource planning
  • management of enterprises
  • operations strategy
  • inter-organisational collaboration
  • strategic alliances


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