Strategic alignment, customer relationship management and firm performance

Li, Chuan (2019) Strategic alignment, customer relationship management and firm performance. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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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.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Customer relationship management, performance, strategic alignment.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Supervisor's Name: Morgan-Thomas, Dr. Anna and Tang, Dr. Yee Kwan
Date of Award: 2019
Embargo Date: 2 May 2022
Depositing User: Dr Chuan Li
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-41218
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 May 2019 08:19
Last Modified: 04 May 2021 08:07
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.41218

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