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Title: Measuring the effectiveness of enterprise resource planning education on business process comprehension
Author: Monk, Ellen Fischer
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 5895
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2013
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Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) are very large and complex software packages that run every aspect of an organization. Increasingly, ERP systems are used in higher education to teach business processes, essential knowledge for students competing in today’s business environment. Past research attempting to measure learning business processes with ERP has been inconclusive and lacking in rigor. This dissertation contains a comprehensive research study that uses a critical realist approach to measure business process learning from experiential ERP. Using a business simulation game as a proxy for understanding business processes, students from (1) a US undergraduate program in three separate classes, one using ERP experientially, and (2) two UK postgraduate programs, one experiencing ERP and one not, are assessed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The data analysis results in a causal mechanism for learning, complemented by a list that trigger or suppress that mechanism in particular cases. The results validate the efforts of those using ERP in the classroom, and reaffirm other educational business school endeavors, with educational implications as follows. First, before attempting to learn business processes, students must know about business in order to enable them to learn this complex topic. Second, experiencing ERP systems indeed helps students understand business processes, with a cohesive curriculum integrating ERP benefitting students the most and students at the postgraduate level learning more deeply. Third, students are using the knowledge gained in university classes to make business decisions. Fourth, students should be encouraged to use all information possible for making business decisions instead of relying on their personal understanding of today’s current market, relying on their own business intuition or work experience. Last, teaching methods may need to be adjusted for postgraduates, especially those coming into programs with significant work experience.
Supervisor: Lycett, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business simulation ; Critical realism