یک دیدگاه فرایند گرا در مدیریت ارتباط با مشتری (CRM) و عملکرد سازمانی: یک بررسی تجربی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 39, Issue 7, October 2010, Pages 1170–1185
Research on the CRM-performance link has been fragmented due to various perspectives on CRM. This study, considering different concepts of CRM, proposes a process-oriented framework for examining the relationship among CRM resources, CRM process capabilities, and organizational performance. Based on the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, CRM resources are classified as “technological CRM resources” and “infrastructural CRM resources”. Data from 77 Iranian Internet service provider firms were gathered in a field survey. The empirical work indicates that the measured constructs demonstrate key psychometric properties including reliability and validity. The results reveal that CRM processes are more affected by infrastructural CRM resources rather than technological CRM resources. Moreover, the findings indicate that firms with improved CRM process capabilities enjoy better organizational performance.
In the contemporary business environment, customers are considered to be the central element of all marketing actions, and CRM has become a priority for companies (Karakostas et al., 2005 and Rust et al., 2000). This is highlighted by the claim of academics and practitioners that a customer orientation strategy is necessary for companies to survive and be successful in saturated markets (Heinrich, 2005). Business firms, regardless of the size of their organization, as a whole, are spending billions of dollars each year on CRM applications (Ngai, 2005 and Zablah et al., 2004). Although some academic researchers have provided some evidence of the positive relationship between CRM and performance (Coltman, 2006, Mithas et al., 2005 and Sin et al., 2005), many academic and business reports have shown disappointing results (Chen and Wang, 2006, Heinrich, 2005, Richards and Jones, 2008, Rigby et al., 2002 and Zablah et al., 2004). In 2003, Gartner reported that about 70% of CRM projects result in either loss or no bottom line improvement in company performance (Richards & Jones, 2008). These paradoxical results are similar to what the academicians have called “productivity paradox” in the Information Technology (IT) literature (Albadvi, Keramati, & Razmi, 2007). This could be one of the reasons that CRM is an emerging field of inquiry (Richards & Jones, 2008). To remedy the situation, we should first determine from where the problem stems. Going through the literature, we found two problems that are relevant to the CRM-performance link. First, many companies have considered CRM as an IT solution and a technology for a marketing strategy (Peppard, 2000, Reinartz et al., 2004 and Rigby et al., 2002). Through many years, IT researchers have been trying to answer the question of why IT does not confer direct competitive advantage. The clear reason, to which many scholars pointed, was that IT is easy to acquire in competitive markets. In other words, technology cannot bring about success or failure in a business strategy by itself (Mooney, Gurbaxani, & Kraemer, 1996). The same thing happens with CRM technology. Many firms can buy the same CRM technology from the same vendor. So, what makes CRM different in competitive markets? Because the same problem has led to the IT productivity paradox, we followed the IT and performance literature to gain helpful insights. By doing so, we saw that some researchers have worked on the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm and have extended it into the IT context to explain the productivity paradox of IT (Bharadwaj, 2000, Santhanam and Hartono, 2003 and Melville et al., 2004). Others have investigated complementary factors affecting the relationship between IT and performance (Keramati and Albadvi, 2006 and Albadvi et al., 2007). More importantly, some researchers have made use of a process-oriented approach to explain how IT affects performance (Mooney et al., 1996 and Radhakrishnan et al., 2008). The second reason is related to the concept of CRM. That is, technology is the common aspect between CRM and IT, but CRM by itself is not a technological concept. CRM has a multifaceted nature (Payne & Frow, 2005) and has not produced the expected results through lack of a common conceptualization (LaPlaca, 2004). Various models have been developed to show how it impacts organizational performance. These models are different in two ways: first, in conceptualizing key constructs of CRM, and second, in showing the interrelationships among the constructs. Zablah et al. (2004) worked on the CRM literature and identified and conceptualized five major perspectives on CRM (i.e., philosophy, strategy, technology, process, and capability). This was an important step toward a unified framework linking CRM to performance. This paper addresses both problems mentioned above. The main objective of this study is to propose an integrated framework which traces the path from CRM investment to organizational performance. In this framework, we are going to: 1. Specify what resources are important for implementing CRM processes. 2. Put different perspectives on CRM, which have caused various strands of research, into a single integrated framework. 3. Display how and through which mechanisms CRM creates value for the firm. By reviewing the literature on CRM and drawing on the RBV and the process-oriented approach, this study has worked towards the above objectives. The remainder of this paper is structured as follows: in the next section, the relationship between CRM and IT is reviewed. Then, the RBV, process-oriented approach, and their extension to CRM and the performance study will be discussed. A review of the models that link CRM to performance is also offered in Section 2. Then, in Section 3, the research framework and its dimensions are proposed. Research methodology is discussed in Section 4. Section 5 presents the results of the empirical study. The paper concludes with a discussion, managerial implications, and limitations in 6 and 8.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper first provides evidence that the RBV and the process-oriented approach are applicable in the CRM context. Then, it provides a summary of the current literature on CRM and performance, and proposes a framework that links CRM to organizational performance based on the RBV and process-oriented approach. This framework highlights the importance of CRM resources, which should be taken into consideration by firms that want to implement CRM. It shows that not all firms can attain a sustainable competitive advantage through CRM. For creating business value from CRM efforts, firms should consider the valued CRM resources and absorb and effectively deploy them to create CRM process capabilities which are inimitable and not substitutable by other firms. In fact, it is apparent that there exists a chain from CRM resources to CRM process capabilities, and a successful CRM program depends on maneuvering through this chain properly (Keramati, Mehrabi, & Mousakhani, 2008). Roh et al. (2005) suggest that examining the impact of CRM on performance in a causal path can have more meaningful implications for CRM planning and implementation. This notion is important because CRM is a multidimensional concept, and, by considering some dimensions while ignoring others, it may be difficult to explain the findings of empirical investigations. This study, on the one hand, integrates the various perspectives on CRM offered by Zablah et al. (2004), which are philosophy, strategy, technology, process, and capability. On the other hand, it addresses the paradoxical results of CRM by putting together and examining the perspectives in a causal path which exhibits the CRM value generation process. In other words, it shows how and through which mechanisms CRM creates value for the firm. The application of the RBV along with the process-oriented approach in the IT context is based on the logic that the effect of IT resources (technological and complimentary) will most obviously appear on the process level (Ray et al., 2005). In CRM, this logic is more vigorous. Aside from the above-mentioned reason, process is one of the concepts of CRM, and the deployment of appropriate inputs (CRM resources) into CRM processes will result in creating desired outputs (CRM process capabilities). One of the important efforts in this study is the review and analysis of previous studies (Table 1 and Table 2) that examine the relationship between CRM and performance. This, by itself, can be of much use for academicians and practitioners who want to see how various studies have addressed different aspects of CRM. In the Results section, the post-hoc analysis of CRM-intensive/lagging firms is valuable. First, it divides the 77 firms, which are all from the same industry, into four groups based on different usages of technological and infrastructural CRM resources. Second, it provides useful insights into how different usages of CRM resources are related to different CRM process capabilities and performances among firms. It is specified that technological and infrastructural CRM resources are the role players in creating value through CRM. However, the difference between their contributions is noticeable through the results. Our findings indicate the substantial effect of infrastructural CRM resources (human and organizational CRM resources) on CRM processes. This is consistent with the finding of other studies which have worked on these aspects (Greve and Albers, 2006, Lüneborg and Nielsen, 2003, Reinartz et al., 2004 and Sin et al., 2005). On the other hand, technological CRM resources only partially affect CRM processes. This confirms Rigby et al.'s (2002) idea that CRM objectives can be fulfilled without huge investments in technology. However, the role of technology cannot be denied, and we predicted a stronger relationship. In this regard, Reinartz et al. (2004), who could not find a positive moderating effect of CRM technologies on the relationship between CRM processes and organizational performance, suggest that their finding is partially consistent with the existing evidence that the performance of large proportions of CRM technologies are not consistent with the expectations. This is reasonable in our study as well. By comparing L-TECH/I-INFRA firms with I-TECH/I-INFRA firms in Table 9, we see that both groups have intensely deployed infrastructural CRM resources, one with low and the other with high usage of technological CRM resources. The results in Table 11 show that, although there is a slight difference between their performances, it is not significant. In addition to the above-mentioned reason, the weak association between technological CRM resources and CRM processes could be due to the usage of an inappropriate combination of three technological CRM resources by the firms. The results also show that CRM resources, when applied effectively, offer strategic and operational benefits, such as individualization, customization, new product/service developments, etc. These benefits, in turn, not only bring about customer satisfaction but also enhance profitability measures. This is consistent with the findings of Radhakrishnan et al. (2008), who found that when firms effectively use IT to create process capabilities, they enjoy better performance. The results are more highlighted by comparing CRM-intensive firms with CRM-lagging firms in the industry. It is revealed that companies that have only developed technological CRM resources do not have better process capabilities and performance; on the other hand, firms that have developed all of their CRM resources together enjoy better process capabilities and better organizational performance. The results in Table 11 prove that investing in CRM technology without considering other aspects of it may lead to negative results for the performance of the firm. This is due to the fact that CRM technology per se may not even pay off the amount of investment in it. This result is consistent with the study of Powell and Dent-Micallef (1997), which found that IT-lagging firms performed slightly better than IT-intensive firms. Another important implication of this study is in highlighting the importance of the human part of CRM, and confirming different notions from researchers about it (Bell et al., 2002, Karakostas et al., 2005 and Rigby et al., 2002). The findings are also consistent with the notion of “achieving competitive success through people” (Pfeffer, 1995). Although this effort relies mainly on the RBV and process-oriented approach, other theories have also shed light on it. First, the agency theory discusses designing incentive systems to maximize profitability (Reinartz et al., 2004). Second, the contingency theory states that company profit is associated with appropriate organizational structures (Reinartz et al., 2004). In addition, this theory suggests that setting strategic goals are necessary for attaining desired objectives (Richards & Jones, 2008). Third, the theory of transaction-cost economics (TCE) has been used in studying the organizational impacts of IT (Powell & Dent-Micallef, 1997) and posits that IT can add value by interacting with organizational processes (Radhakrishnan et al., 2008). One of the aims of this interaction is to minimize the costs, which can be achieved by CRM systems (Roh et al., 2005), although it is not the primary objective of CRM (Greenberg, 2004, p. 483). Fourth, the theory of production has been used to explain the economic impact of IT (Melville et al., 2004) and is concerned about the way in which firms transform various inputs into outputs. Hitt and Brynjolfsson (1996) state that certain levels of output can be produced by using different combinations of inputs. As a result, because firms at first will seek to invest in an input with the highest value from its use, “theory predicts that rationally managed firms will keep investing in an input until the last unit of that input creates no more value that it costs”. This creates a good insight into CRM in that firms should look for CRM resources that create the most benefits and prioritize and modify their investment in them. Finally, for each of the constructs, appropriate dimensions and scales are defined according to the literature. Specifically, the CRM resources are measured with five dimensions, namely, collaborative CRM technologies, operational CRM technologies, analytical CRM technologies, human CRM resources, and organizational CRM resources. The importance of specifying measures for CRM resources is that it enables us to measure the extent of their usage across firms. Aside from measuring CRM resources, CRM processes and CRM process capabilities were measured on both management and operational levels, which can be useful for practitioners as well as scholars.