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Differences in Critical Success Factors in ERP Systems Implementation in Australia and China: A Cultural Analysis G. Shanks*, A Parr**, B. Hu*, B. Corbitt*, T. Thanasankit* and P.Seddon* The University of Melbourne*, Monash University** Melbourne, Australia. Abstract -Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are integrated, enterprise-wide systems that provide automated support for standard business processes within organisations. They have been adopted by organisations throughout the world with varying degrees of success. Implementing ERP systems is a complex, lengthy and expensive process. In this paper we synthesise an ERP systems implementation process model and a set of critical success factors for ERP systems implementation. Two case studies of ERP systems implementation, one in Australia and one in China are reported. The case studies identify which critical success factors are important in which process model phases. Case study analysis then explains the differences between the Australian and Chinese cases using national cultural characteristics. Outcomes of the research are important for multinational organisations implementing ERP systems and for consulting companies assisting with ERP systems implementation in different countries. I. I NTRODUCTION Organisations have been increasingly moving towards purchasing software packages throughout the 1990s. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are comprehensive, fully integrated software packages that provide automated support for most of the standard business processes within organisations. A company’s investment in ERP systems is typically measured in millions of dollars [1] and the total market for ERP systems is forecast to be over $70 billion dollars by 2002 [2]. The benefits claimed for ERP systems are reduced operating and maintenance costs for information systems, reduced administrative expenses and more efficient business processes, better quality information for decision making, and increased capacity to handle growth [1,3]. There is strong evidence that many ERP systems implementation projects are not completed on time and within budget [1] and there are reports of complete ERP implementation failure [4]. Although some of these problems may be due to poor cost and time estimation and changes in project scope [2], ERP systems implementation projects are complex and careful planning is critical. ERP systems have been adopted throughout the world in many different cultural settings. To date, there is little published research on ERP systems implementation in general and no published work on cultural differences in ERP systems implementation. In order to better understand and plan for ERP systems implementation, we first synthesise an ERP systems implementation process model and develop a set of critical success factors for ERP systems implementation from previous empirical studies reported in the literature. We then report two case studies of ERP systems implementation, one in Australia and one in China, to determine which critical

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