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In this paper, the authors examine the impact of customer relationship management (CRM) on firm performance using a hierarchical construct model. Using the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, strategic CRM is conceptualized as an endogenously determined function of the organization's ability to harness and orchestrate lower order capabilities that comprise physical assets such as IT and organizational capabilities. The results reveal a positive and significant path between a superior CRM capability and firm performance. It is shown that CRM initiatives that jointly emphasize customer intimacy, cost reduction and analytic intelligence outperform those that take a less balanced approach. The results help to explain why CRM programs can be successful and what capabilities are required to support success.
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