This study investigates the extent to which investors believe that enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems enhance firm value by examining changes in financial analysts' earnings predictions before and after they receive an announcement that a firm plans to implement an ERP system. A total of 63 analysts participated in a two (firm size: small and large) by two (firm health: unhealthy and healthy) randomized between‐subjects design. The ERP announcement represented a within‐subjects manipulation. The analysts' overall reaction to ERP implementation plans was positive, as mean post‐announcement earnings forecasts were significantly higher than mean pre‐announcement forecasts. Additionally, as expected, mean earnings forecast revisions in the small/healthy and large/unhealthy firm conditions were significantly greater than mean forecast revisions in the small/unhealthy firm condition.
Experimental results from the current study support archival findings reported by Hayes et al. (2001), who explored the same research questions, among others, by examining cumulative abnormal returns surrounding ERP announcements. Triangulation studies of this nature using multimethods (e.g., behavioral vs. archival) and complementary criterion variables (e.g., earnings forecasts vs. cumulative abnormal returns) are important to social scientists, as they provide insight into the reliability, consistency, and validity (both internal and ecological) of proposed theoretical relationships (Boyd et al. 1993; Flick 1992; Libby et al. 2002).