A comprehensive literature review of the ERP research field over a decade

  • Schlichter B
  • Kraemmergaard P
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is first, to develop a methodological framework for conducting a comprehensive literature review on an empirical phenomenon based on a vast amount of papers published. Second, to use this framework to gain an understanding of the current state of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) research field, and third, based on the literature review, to develop a conceptual framework identifying areas of concern with regard to ERP systems. Design/methodology/approach - Abstracts from 885 peer-reviewed journal publications from 2000 to 2009 have been analysed according to journal, authors and year of publication, and further categorised into research discipline, research topic and methods used, using the structured methodological framework. Findings - The body of academic knowledge about ERP systems has reached a certain maturity and several different research disciplines have contributed to the field from different points of view using different methods, showing that the ERP research field is very much an interdisciplinary field. It demonstrates that the number of ERP publications has decreased, and it indicates that the academic interest in ERP is driven by an interest in an empirical phenomenon rather than that ERP is a new research discipline. Different research topics of interest are identified and used in developing a conceptual framework for "areas of concern" regarding ERP systems. Finally the usefulness of the framework is confirmed by analysing one specific aspect of ERP research; business process reengineering (BPR) to establish which theories different authors and journals have used in their efforts to explore BPR and ERP. Research limitations/implications - The findings of the literature study, the structured methodological framework for comprehensive literature review and the conceptual framework identifying different areas of concern are believed to be useful for other researchers in their effort to obtain an overview of the evolution of the ERP research field and in positioning their own ERP research. Practical implications - The paper provides guidance for researchers with insight into what has been published, where to publish ERP-related research and how to study it, and in positioning their own interest in ERP systems in the interdisciplinary research field. Access to the EndNote database containing bibliographical data of more than 880 papers can be used in future research and literature analysis. For managers, the conceptual framework can be useful in increasing their understanding of the complexity and areas of concern with regard to the ERP system. Originality/value - The paper presents a structured methodological framework for analysing a vast amount of academic publications with an interest in an empirical phenomenon, demonstration of how academic interdisciplinary interest in ERP has evolved over time and reached a certain amount of maturity and a conceptual framework of areas of concern with regard to ERP systems. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Literature
  • Manufacturing resource planning
  • Research

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  • Bjarne Rerup Schlichter

  • Pernille Kraemmergaard

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