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Title: Strategic alignment, customer relationship management and firm performance
Author: Li, Chuan
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2019
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Despite significant investment in customer relationship management (CRM) technologies, empirical research continues to question the returns from such investments, and the relationship between CRM and firm performance in substantial literature remains puzzling and inconclusive. Little effort has been made to understand the overall mechanisms operating in the CRM-firm performance relationship. The thesis aims to address this gap by building and testing a theoretical model explaining the relationship between CRM and organisational performance. Against the background of the exclusion of the strategic alignment perspective in marketing practices, this study argues that strategic alignment offers a new analytical lens that is crucial for understanding the variation of performance implications of CRM. It then identifies conceptualisations, models, and outcomes of CRM and builds a contingency-based CRM model incorporating the notion of strategic alignment. More specifically, using the theoretical guidance of CRM across Information Systems (IS), Marketing, and General Management, a range of research hypotheses are developed and tested using primary evidence from a survey of 202 UK financial services firms. Structural equation modelling techniques yield results that largely support the research hypotheses, challenge the considerable emphasis on CRM technology as the only driver of CRM capabilities, and demonstrate the important enabling role of strategic alignment. More important, this study highlights that strategic alignment moderates the relationship between CRM technology and business performance. Overall, the thesis offers several theoretical and empirical implications for the burgeoning literature on CRM and improves our understanding of its relationship with firm performance. There is a persistent call for the integration of CRM knowledge across different study areas and for updated insights into new technologies. This study models the impact of CRM on firm performance by widening understanding of CRM conceptualisation and introducing the novel concept of strategic alignment from IS literature. The importance of strategic alignment for CRM technology strategy and business strategy is revealed. In addition, the question of the empirical operationalisation of such constructs in this study as CRM technology, CRM capabilities, customer performance, and business performance deserves much scholarly attention. These findings also have strategic implications for CRM practitioners.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General)