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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23848||2012||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9483 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 41, Issue 6, August 2012, Pages 984–994
This study investigates how different ways of using customer information affects a firm's performance in business-to-business markets. This study focuses on two different types of information usages, action-oriented and knowledge-enhancing information usage. Results from Partial Least Squares analysis show that action-oriented customer information usage, direct information usage, contributes to customer performance, but not directly to business performance. Furthermore, the findings indicate that the extent of customer information collected within a company and the sharing of this information improves both direct and indirect customer information usages. Implications for managers and avenues for further research are discussed.
Developing and maintaining profitable business-to-business relationships require a more complex stream of information about and from a specific customer than does product or transaction-driven marketing (e.g. Davenport et al., 2001, Gebert et al., 2003 and Helfert et al., 2002). Furthermore, by managing and using customer information efficiently, business-to-business companies can improve the development and provision of products and services, achieve shorter new product development cycles, facilitate and manage organizational innovation and learning, and, especially, improve customer satisfaction and customer performance (Jayachandran et al., 2005 and Srinivasan and Lilien, 1999). This study focuses on how customer information usage affects a firm's performance in business-to-business companies. For decades information utilization in organizations has been considered an important area for research in light of its implications for organizational effectiveness (Menon & Varadarajan, 1992). In the past decade, business-to-business companies have invested heavily in Information Technology systems, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, to manage customer data and turn it into customer information (e.g. Abbott, 2001, Jayachandran et al., 2005 and Lambert, 2010; Lanciani & Chandran, 2009; Rigby, Reicheld, & Schefter, 2002). Fewer investments are directed towards how to integrate customer information residing in a company into a company's everyday operations and processes dealing with customers (Campbell, 2003 and Deshpande, 1982). Academic research in information utilization is fragmented and findings can be difficult to compare across the disciplines. The key theme of the information utilization research has been ignorance towards information that an organization already possesses. For instance already in 1970s, Von Hippel (1976) points out a lack of using customer-related information in new product development. In marketing, information utilization research has studied the factors affecting market research utilization (e.g. Deshpande & Zaltman, 1987), the dynamics between users (marketing managers) and producers (researchers) of market research knowledge (Moorman, Deshpande, & Zaltman, 1993), general market information utilization within a company (e.g. Maltz and Kohli, 1996 and Moorman, 1995), and the individual-level of market information utilization (e.g. Celuch, Kasouf, & Strieter, 2000). The focus of marketing researchers has shifted from using more aggregated market information to using customer-specific information (e.g. Srinivasan and Lilien, 1999 and Van Birgelen et al., 2000: customer satisfaction information use; Morgan, Anderson, & Mittal, 2005: customer satisfaction information; Jayachandran et al., 2005: relational information processes). Still, research on customer or market information utilization and its impact on a firm's performance is sparse (Jayachandran et al., 2005 and Srinivasan and Lilien, 1999). Our study aims to contribute to this stream of literature by examining two key antecedents of customer information usage, the extent of customer information collected and customer information sharing within a company, and how two types of customer information usages, action-oriented and knowledge-enhancing, affect a company's customer and business performance in business-to-business companies. A pilot study with field interviews in six companies was conducted first, and after that, data from 114 Finnish business-to-business companies and 228 individuals were collected to test the hypotheses. In addition, secondary data were collected to validate perceptual firm performance measures. Partial Least Squares approach to Structural Equation Modeling was used to test the hypotheses. Our findings suggest that action-oriented customer information usage has a positive impact on a company's customer performance, whereas knowledge-enhancing customer information usage may have longer term and broader benefits. Our results also suggest that the more customer information is collected, the more it is used in action-oriented and, in particular, knowledge-enhancing ways. In addition, sharing customer information within a company contributes positively to both types of customer information usages. From the managerial point of view, this research creates new insights for business-to-business companies developing their customer information usage processes and practices. This paper is structured as follows. First, the background of information utilization research in marketing is discussed and after that, hypotheses are presented. Second, research design and methods are discussed. Third, data analysis and results are presented. Fourth, results are discussed. Last, managerial implications, avenues for future research, and limitations of the study are discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this study was to investigate empirically the effect of customer information usage on a firm's performance in business-to-business markets. In particular, we examined how action-oriented and knowledge-enhancing customer information usages affect customer and business performance. We also investigated how the amounts of customer information collected and shared within a company affect customer information usage. Our study provides new theoretical and empirical insights on information utilization research in the marketing and Knowledge Management fields. The findings of this research have implications for companies hoping to improve their customer information usage. First, from the definition and scale development points of view, our study both brought new insights and confirmed the findings from previous information utilization research. Our study contributed to information utilization research in the marketing literature by employing formative measures for customer information usage. Previous research in information utilization in marketing and market orientation has largely used reflective measures (e.g. Deshpande and Zaltman, 1987, Jayachandran et al., 2005 and Moorman, 1995). Our measures need further development, but we took a step to develop an index for customer information usage in business-to-business markets. Future research could further test and develop the measures. Second, our study provided new insights to the discussion of CRM in the marketing field. Our results did not confirm the positive role of CRM systems in customer information usage. We call for more empirical research to investigate the different types of CRM systems and their effects on different types of customer information usages. Third, the main research question of this study addressed one of the key questions in marketing: Does customer information usage affect a firm's performance? Our study suggests that investments in improving customer information usage may actualize as better customer performance, and, maybe in the long run, also as better business performance. Our study has limitations that should be considered when interpreting the results. The first limitation is the limited geographical focus. Data to test hypotheses were collected in one country, Finland. There is a severe lack of empirical research on cross-national differences in customer information usage. Diamantopoulos, Souchon, Dunden, Axinn, and Holzmüller (2003) found that companies from different countries use export market information differently. Future research could explore the role of country culture and management culture in customer information usage. The second limitation of this study is the cross-sectional research design, which limits the opportunities to test “real” causal relationships. However, we can argue that the relationship between action-oriented customer information usage and customer performance is causal in nature. Future research could follow customer information usage within companies and its impact on a company's performance for longer periods. In addition, longitudinal research design could reveal how customer information usage habits form in companies and how different types of customer information usages interact with each other.