Breaking the Monolith: Strategy, Variety, and Performance of Enterprise Information Systems

  • Yuanxun Gu
  • Lian Qi
  • Jian Wang


This paper intends to understand the form of implementations of Enterprise Information Systems (EISs). EISs are usually provided as packaged software products. Due to the diversities of implementations, EISs are often characterized by their system architectures. A conceptual framework is proposed to delineate the diversity and dynamics of EIS implementations. This framework is constituted of three components, EIS strategy, variety, and process-level performance (SVP). In particular, the variety of implementations is defined by two constructs, application scope and application depth. A Partial Least Squares structural equation modeling approach is applied to test the hypotheses according to the survey data from 223 project reports of EIS implementations in China. The results show that the EIS strategy and variety can both affect the performance of the implemented EISs. Specifically, application depth has an important mediating effect on the relationship between EIS strategy and performance. EIS strategy and application depth are breakthrough points to improve the performance of the implemented EISs. These findings suggest that the variety plays a central and effective role in the analysis of EIS implementations. This SVP framework highlights the interconnections among its components and captures the form of EIS implementations.


EIS strategy application scope application depth process-level performance 


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We are thankful to the anonymous referees for their insightful reviews to improve the quality of the paper. This work is partially supported by the National Social Science Fund of China (No.13BGL020), Beijing Social Science Fund of China (No.15JGB035), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.71572104).


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© Systems Engineering Society of China and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementBeijing Jiaotong UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Rutgers Business SchoolRutgers, the State University of New JerseyNewarkUSA
  3. 3.School of ManagementShanghai UniversityShanghaiChina

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