Date of Award

1-1-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business

Department

Accounting & Information Systems

First Advisor

Sylvia Dempsey

Abstract

This study is an empirical investigation of the development of Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP) education for Business students. It uses Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) as its case study to determine the benefits of practical ERP education, the challenges faced by third-level institutions and how ERP education should be provided to Business students. The researcher used observation, review of documentation, and semi-structured interviews of fifteen academics as the research techniques.

As well as being beneficial for students, employers and ERP vendors, this study finds that the provision of practical ERP education has reciprocal benefits for the third-level institution. By improving graduates skills, enhancing their employability and ensuring students are always up-to-date with new technology, the profile of the college enhanced and important links are built with industry.

The challenges facing the institution are personnel issues (such as inadequate training on ERP and inexperience in teaching in a lab setting), programme structure issues (such as the need to rewrite module descriptors and lack of space on the programme) and organisational issues (such as a lack of computer laboratories, cost of running laboratories and need for more technical assistance). However, all of these challenges should be weighed against the benefits that practical ERP education has to offer. This study suggests that in-house training of staff, inclusion of ERP education in the module descriptors, the provision of a dedicated technician, better links with other colleges and industry would all improve the provision of practical ERP education in third-level colleges.

The benefits of ERP education can be maximised if it is provided in a mix of theoretical and laboratory settings in a cross-modular fashion in the penultimate year of the degree programme. There is a lot of work to be done in maximising the utilisation of the University Alliance Programme (UAP), small steps have been taken in CIT, but it still has a long way to go. Other third-level institutions can learn from the steps CIT have taken and is taking.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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