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Cultural challenges of ERP implementation in Middle-Eastern oil & gas sector: an action research approach

Ali, M; Edghiem, F; Alkhalifah, ES


F Edghiem

ES Alkhalifah


The purpose of this paper was to examine the cultural barriers that existed at various stages of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation process, using the Middle-Eastern oil and gas sector as a case study. Due to a variety of cultural implications, ERP implementation rates in the oil and gas sector in Middle-Eastern developing countries are extremely low. Although the literature highlighted numerous ERP implementation theories that attempted to overcome the cultural complexities of ERP systems, there are few studies that have framed these complexities using action research theory in order to provide potential solutions to these challenges, particularly in Middle-Eastern developing countries where cultural settings are distinct from those in Western developed countries. Action research AR, in conjunction with documentation, observations, and interviews, aided in the exploration of the culturally complex barriers encountered during the pre-implementation (plan and propose), implementation (do), and post-implementation (assess and improve) stages of ERP projects conducted within a Middle-Eastern oil and gas organisation. This article confirms numerous cultural implications at each stage of the ERP implementation process, including team conflict, managerial authority, and a lack of an IT culture, all of which contributed to the project's delay. Other impediments, such as a lack of commitment to training and technophobia, persisted throughout the post-implementation phase and the subsequent follow-up experience under the recent COVID-19 pandemic. This article contributes to theory and practise by highlighting the culturally complex barriers that underpin many ERP implementations in the Middle Eastern oil and gas sector. This information can assist practitioners and researchers in developing future research and ideas to mitigate future ERP implementation challenges in this region.


Ali, M., Edghiem, F., & Alkhalifah, E. (2022). Cultural challenges of ERP implementation in Middle-Eastern oil & gas sector: an action research approach. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 36, 111-140.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 13, 2022
Publication Date May 31, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 9, 2022
Journal Systemic Practice and Action Research
Print ISSN 1094-429X
Electronic ISSN 1573-9295
Publisher Springer Verlag
Volume 36
Pages 111-140
Publisher URL