Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Management Information Systems


Faculty of Business and Public Management

First Supervisor

Professor Janice M Burn


This research was carried out between 1999 and 2003 on the use of e-business applications in ERP-based organisations. A composite research method based on structured case studies was developed for this study. It combined the application of case methods by Carroll et al. (1998], Klein and Myer (1998), and Eisenhardt (1989). This was used to provide a focused, yet flexible structure, as a dynamic approach to case study interpretive research. The research method used three distinct models at three progressive stages of the study, to provide a multi-faceted view of each case. This composite case-based method was developed to maintain the balance between research rigour and relevance. A pilot case study of nine Australian SAP sites helped ground the theory of the study. This was followed by three stages of study of eleven international cases within a diverse industry context. The method revealed the antecedents of e-business success using the findings from case analyses against three separate research models B2B interaction, e-business change, and virtual organising. A final conceptual framework was developed as new theory of e-business transformation. The theory views e-business transformation as realising the benefits from virtual organising within complex B2B interactions by utilising the facilitators of successful e-business change. The research demonstrates that successful e-business transformation with ERP occurs when value propositions are realised through integration and differentiation of technologies used to support new business models to deliver products and services online. The associated management practice evolves through efficiency from self-service, effectiveness through empowerment towards customer care, and value enhancement from extensive relationship building with multiple alliances. The new theory of e-business transformation identifies the stages of e-business growth and development as a comprehensive plan that should assist managers of ERP-based organisations in migrating their company towards a successful e-business organisation. The detailed analysis of the findings offers a foundational per11pectlve of strategies, tactics and performance objectives for e-ERP implementations. The strength of the theory lies in the synthesis of multiple case analyses using three different lenses over three separate time periods. The triangulation of the three research frameworks provides a method for study at appropriate levels of complexity. It is evolutionary in nature and is content driven. Other researchers are urged to apply similar multi-viewed analysis.