مفاهیم عملکرد قابلیت های ارتباط با مشتری: بررسی نقش مکملی از مشتری مداری و تکنولوژی مدیریت ارتباط با مشتری (CRM)
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 63, Issue 11, November 2010, Pages 1229–1236
foster durable customer relationships. Drawing from the literature in marketing, strategic management, and information systems, the first outcome is a theoretically grounded conceptualization of CRM technology capability comprised of three complementary resources: technology, business, and human resources. The second key finding is that CRM technology capability and customer orientation have a positive association with the development of durable customer relationships. These resources also have a positive interactive effect on customer-linking capability, highlighting the importance of aligning strategic business and technology resources. Finally, the authors find that customer-linking capability has a positive relationship with customer relationship performance and that the rapidity of changes in the external environment moderates this relationship. This study addresses these research questions in a cross-sectional study of 215 organizations using a partial least squares modeling approach.
Since the boom of the customer relationship management (CRM) software industry in the late 1990s many companies have started CRM technology initiatives without regard to the complementary business and human resources needed to successfully deploy and fully leverage these substantial investments (Reinartz et al., 2004). Some suggest that a myopic focus on the technology, as opposed to a broader integration of several key resources, has likely contributed to the estimated 70% of CRM projects resulting in either losses or no bottom-line improvement in company performance (Gartner Group, 2008a). Despite mixed reports on the efficacy of CRM technology over the past decade, the CRM software market exhibited record growth of more than 20% in 2007, approaching $8 billion in total software revenue. Furthermore, the market for CRM applications is expected to continue to grow through 2012, when revenues are forecast to reach $13.3 billion (Gartner Group, 2008b). The attention that CRM technology continues to receive by executives is echoed by the growing literature on the topic within the marketing and information systems (IS) domains. While scholars have developed theories and have made progress toward empirically validating the effect of CRM technologies (Jayachandran et al., 2005, Mithas et al., 2005 and Ray et al., 2005), there is only anecdotal evidence to suggest what resources and capabilities are needed for CRM technology to improve customer relationship performance. Furthermore, there is limited empirical work examining the effect of CRM technology on the development of critical marketing capabilities and how these capabilities influence organizational performance. The substantial expenditures in CRM technology along with the lack of empirical studies on how to leverage this technology with complementary firm resources serve as the primary motivation for this study. With the resource-based view (RBV) serving as our guide, we present and empirically test a model that explains how technology, business, and human resources are integrated to develop a CRM technology capability. We argue that this capability, particularly when coupled with a customer-orientated business strategy, positively relates to a customer-linking capability, reflecting how well a company creates and manages durable customer relationships. We further examine the performance implications of customer-linking capability and how the competitive landscape moderates the capabilities-performance chain.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We find that the customer-centric resources of CRM technology and customer orientation directly influence a firm's customer-linking capability. These findings support our view that information gathered from close communication and collaboration with customers can be leveraged to better understand customer needs and develop appropriate responses to these needs. A combination of customer-centric technology, human, and business resources along with a relationship-focused strategy are shown here to relate directly to the marketing capability of maintaining durable customer relationships. In addition to the direct effects mentioned above, an interesting finding in our study is that the interaction between CRM technology capability and customer orientation also positively influences customer-linking capability. This finding supports our notion that resource complementarity plays an important role within our framework. Despite its limited empirical attention, the interaction between firm-level resources appears to play an important role in the formation of a firm's distinctive capabilities. This finding is also consistent with the strategic alignment literature that argues that information technology is most effective when properly aligned with business strategy (Henderson and Venkatraman, 1993). Parallel to the recent call by theorists within the IS domain (e.g., Wade and Hulland, 2004), our findings suggest that it may be necessary to examine intermediate variables, such as marketing capabilities, when examining how information technology resources relate to firm performance. Traditionally, researchers view this relationship as linear and direct, a view that may not capture the complete picture of how these resources influence performance. The mediating role of customer-linking found in the current study suggests that specific types of technology may lead to intervening capabilities that have significant performance implications. This study also finds that a firm's external environment, as measured by the environmental dynamism construct, has an influence on the relationship between customer-linking capability and customer relationship performance. This influence suggests that durable customer relationships are particularly important for maintaining loyalty and satisfaction in environments where customer preferences and technological changes occur rapidly. This finding supports our notion that the information gathered from customer relationships may help firms better understand the changing needs of customers and develop appropriate responses. When these changes occur rapidly, the ability to sense and respond becomes even more valuable to maintain satisfaction and loyalty. An enhancing effect of environmental dynamism on the relationship to organization performance was not found in this study. Given that organizational performance in our model is assessed using measures of costs and profitability, it seems reasonable to argue that this finding is related to the high costs associated with understanding and responding to rapidly changing customer needs. This study makes several important contributions to both the marketing and IS literatures. First, our model and findings serve to bridge the gap between the marketing and IT perspectives of CRM. While the CRM area has received a fair amount of attention over the past decade, there are still arguments on the actual definition of CRM. As Payne and Frow (2005) suggest, the definitions of CRM fall on a continuum ranging from the implementation of specific technology solution to a complete organizational culture embracing a holistic approach and strategy towards managing customer relationship. Our research attempts to capture these different facets of CRM and identify what marketing and IT resources are needed to successfully implement a CRM initiative. As CRM can be viewed as either operational or strategic, we believe our framework captures both aspects. The operational aspect (or in our model, the technological and complementary resources) are coupled with a strategic resource (customer orientation). The interactive effect of these critical resources suggests that an alignment between strategy and operations has the greatest impact on developing strong customer relationships. Our treatment of CRM technology capability as a higher-order construct and our examination of the intermediate variables in our model is another important contribution of our work. Earlier research, examining the resources captured in our CRM technology capability construct, tends to examine these resources in isolation and has largely only examined their direct relationship with organizational performance. Our integrative model, instead, demonstrates how complementary technology, human, and business resources can be combined to create a valuable enabler of CRM that is further shown to significantly influence firm performance. While studies have examined how technology is used to support CRM efforts, to our knowledge, no study has advanced a model that demonstrates the combination of technology and complementary resources to develop a CRM technology capability that can be leveraged with other firm-level resources to manage and enhance customer relationships. However, as with all research, there are some limitations inherent in our study, which restrict its interpretation and generalizability, and which open the door for future studies. The cross-sectional nature of this study provides only a snapshot in time which makes it difficult to fully understand the order of effects and we are, therefore, left to infer causality. Future research examining these constructs with longitudinal data can provide a richer understanding of the relationships between them. A second limitation concerns the fact the survey responses all came from top managers. This limitation raises concerns about the influence of method bias in our results. As Evans (1985) notes, however, interaction effects are not subject to common method bias since informants are unable to determine the complex relationships involved. While this lends credibility to our findings related to the interactive effects in our model, research incorporating secondary data is warranted and can provide further insight into the relationships examined in the current study. Also, as we refer to the top management team, our data was collected from a member of that team. As we believe the assessments provided are reflective of the team and the overall organization strategy, future research would be valuable that examines multiple members of an organization's management. Finally, our findings pave the way for additional research that might uncover important moderating influences on our tested relationships that further inform both theory and practice. Our findings encourage future examination of how resources influence one another and how, when integrated, they influence the relationships to outcome variables. It would be valuable to identify other moderators or facilitating mechanisms that create greater value for firms by coordinating existing firm capabilities. There is also the question of whether considering other functional areas when defining capabilities (not just customer or technology related) would assist in identifying key core capabilities and establish the foundations for successful strategy formulation. Another interesting research question that deserves more attention is to examine other environmental or industry specific characteristics that may impede or support these capabilities.