To date we are still unclear how ERP client-organizations make their ERP upgrade decision. In this research-in-progress, we (1) review literature on issues surrounding ERP upgrade decision-making, (2) formulate and postulate a conceptual model of ERP upgrade decision based on both the empirical research paper and trade press literature, and (3) empirically validate and modify the proposed conceptual model of ERP upgrade decision. To achieve this, multiple interpretative case studies will be conducted. Participant observations, interviews, documentations and archival records will be used in the data collection. Various qualitative methods including pattern-matching technique are used to analyze the cause-effect between various factors (such as business benefits of a new ERP version, new ERP version’s fit with organization’s way of doing business, organization’s cultural norms and political support from top management) and ERP upgrade decision. In addition, symbolic interactionism is used as a theoretical lens to identify the intrinsic symbols attached to an ERP system. Institutional theory and incentive theory are applied to explain how organizational factors and business benefits factors (which are extrinsic in nature) impact on ERP upgrade decision. The expected main contribution from this study is to propose a unified theory that can comprehensively conceptualize and explain how ERP client-organization made their ERP upgrade decision.


enterprise resource planning, institutional theory, software upgrade, upgrade decision, incentive theory, symbolic interactionism


ISBN: [978-1-86435-644-1]; Research-in-progress paper