An examination of enterprise resource planning adoption at a Missouri academic library consortium
Libraries use comprehensive integrated databases called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms to manage materials and the circulation activities of their patrons. These computing platforms manage the circulation transactions of the library, keep track of both the library's financial and acquisitions records and the arrival of serial publications and provide an online catalog for patrons to locate desired materials.
This study was a two-phase, mixed methods phenomenological study to examine the adoption of a common database platform in a consortial setting. The consortium studied was the MOBIUS academic library consortium in the state of Missouri. The study took place over a 4-month period between February and May 2006.
The review of literature included a brief history of the development of consortia, problems inherent with the implementation of ERPs, and best practices to ensure a successful ERP implementation. Phase I of the data collection involved a brief telephone call with the local site coordinators of 57 MOBIUS member institutions to determine the level of ERP adoption at each institution based on Rogers' (2003) diffusion model. Statistical outliers, high and low adopters, were identified using these data. Phase I examined whether there was a relationship between institutional adoption and a set of independent variables: funding orientation (public vs. private), size of institution, and location of institution (urban vs. rural). The researcher's interpretation and analysis of Phase I data indicated that while funding orientation and location were not significant, the size of the institution's full-time equivalent enrollment was a significant factor in predicting the level of adoption a participating institution was likely to achieve.
Phase II of the study involved in-person, audiotaped interviews with directors of nine MOBIUS member libraries. Additional written feedback was obtained from one other MOBIUS member library director who was unable to grant an in-person interview. Participants were selected using extreme deviant sampling; they were the directors of the high- and low-adopting institutions identified as such in Phase I. Analysis of the data was completed using categorization, coding, and a quantitative correlation analysis.
The findings revealed that the themes of project manager selection, support from upper administration, competent Information Technology support, sufficient resource allocation, and the organization's willingness to engage in business process engineering were all critical factors that influenced adoption at the institutional level. The findings also indicated that while two additional themes, "Information Technology Respect" and "Big Fish/Little Fish," did not influence adoption at the institutional level, they were themes of importance to the interviewed participants in relating their experiences of the implementation phenomenon.
0399: Library science
0514: School administration