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Title: Achieving competitive advantage in financial services through a strategic alignment of Relationship Marketing and Human Resource Management
Author: Giannakis, Damian
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis reviews the strategic alignment between Relationship Marketing (RM) and Human Resources Management (HRM) in practice, and notes that a product of this collaborative/competitive association is consensus on the critical importance of people (e.g. the relational sales-reps) in the implementation of successful relationship marketing strategies. In fact, the investigator in the present thesis explores - using extant literature and his qualitative research findings from five case studies - retail banks and twenty in-depth personal interviews of high-rank banking executives - the requirement of better strategic alignment of RM and HRM as the means of successfully implementing relational service-oriented business strategies in a B2C business context. That is - given the recasting of successful marketing in terms of services and relationships excellence, and the key role therefore played by service providers (e.g. the relational sales reps) it is necessary to bring ideas and concepts from RM and HRM together - without successfully ―aligning‖ HR and Marketing strategy and implementation, services and relational quality will be impaired and therefore potential for competitive advantage lost. Therefore, the investigator explores the reasons how and why relational sales-reps play a critical role in effective RM implementation. In view of his conclusions, the investigator makes a contribution to relational oriented marketing theory by providing a strategic alignment idealized design which capitalizes on the Strategic Alignment Model as provided by Henderson and Venkatraman, (1993). Along the lines of the strategic alignment idealized design, RM and HRM and Line Sales management connect corporate effort and develop a substantiated corporate advantage into two different chronological phases. Thus, the first phase of the strategic alignment idealized design calls for integration of RM and HRM activities. In view of the investigators' research conclusions the effective implementation of RM strategies call for a first phase of RM and HRM integration which is based on an indisputable corporate relational marketing orientation within a clearly identifiable relational marketing infrastructure. This first phase develops along to a rational HRM orientation possessing a generic external focus. The second strategic alignment phase calls for systematic interaction in between the centrally located HRM services, the RM specialists, the Human Capital Chief Enabling Officer / Business Partner and the relational sales-reps in a B2C retail context. The research thesis also focuses on concluding an ideal set of relational sales-reps' roles, skills and competences as crucial in developing competitive relationship quality standards at the B2C points of sale. Finally and completing the set of the original research aims and objectives the investigator explores the process how and why through which HRM creates organizational value and boosts RM performance. In this respect, this thesis explores the interdepartmental role, skills and competences of the HR Business partner. The HR dot line manager with extended practical business intelligence and later the Human Capital Chief Enabling Officer role represents a significant connecting link placed in-between RM, HRM and Line Sales. The thesis concludes with an analysis of the parameters regarding the interface between RM and HRM and the potential for organizational competitive advantage accruing from better management of these key business areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral