Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Vicki J. Rosser

Second Committee Member

Gerald C. Kops

Third Committee Member

Mario C. Martinez

Fourth Committee Member

Shaoan Zhang

Number of Pages



The purpose of this national study was to utilize quantitative methods to examine institutional characteristics, financial resource variables, personnel variables, and customer variables of public and private institutions that have and have not implemented enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, from a resource dependence perspective. Resources were examined within the context of resource dependency theory as it relates to organizations seeking to manage their environments by: using strategies to enhance their autonomy and pursue their organizational interests; acquiring, maintaining and controlling critical resources from the environment, and understanding that social context matters in the relationship between organizations and their external environment.

There were several findings of this study. Two institutional characteristics and eight resource variables predict institutions of higher education that have implemented ERP systems: size 20,000 and above, Carnegie 2000 - Doctoral/ Research Universities, total core revenues, investment return, total core expenses, research expenses, total FTE staff, instruction-research-public service FTE staff, executive-admin-managerial FTE staff, and other professional FTE staff. In addition, four institutional characteristics and three resource variables predict IHEs that have not implemented ERP systems: age group between 51 and 100; size between 1,000 and 4,999; Carnegie 2000 - Masters Colleges and Universities; Carnegie 2000 - Associates Colleges; revenues of tuition and fees; student service expenses, and institutional support expenses.

Lastly, there were similarities and differences for IHEs that have and have not implemented ERP systems. When compared between FY 06 and FY 10, five resource variables are consistent among IHEs that have and have not implemented ERP systems. These are: total core expenses, instruction expenses, other core expenses, instruction-research-public service FTE staff and reported FTE undergraduate enrollment. For institutions that have implemented ERP systems, the following eight resource variables are significant, in addition to the five mentioned previously: tuition and fees, state appropriations, research expenses, student service expenses, academic support expenses, total FTE staff, other professional FTE staff, and reported FTE graduate enrollment. Further, for institutions that have not implemented ERP systems, the following two resource variables are significant, in addition to the five previously mentioned: total core revenue and reported FTE graduate enrollment. Overall, there was a significant decrease in institutional support per student FTE for IHEs that have implemented ERP systems.

This research provides a baseline regarding IHEs that have and have not implemented ERP systems in higher education, and raises additional questions for further research.


Enterprise resource planning; Higher education; Information technology; Resource allocation; Resource dependence; Resource dependency theory; Universities and colleges


Educational Leadership

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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