Electronic Customer relationship management on performance of smes

Researching the Effect of Electronic-Customer Relationship Management ( E-CRM ) On Overall Performance of SMEs in ICT Industrial Sector: A Theory-Building Approach


Customer-centricity is a new doctrine of selling and all organisations irrespective of their size, industries and range of operation must pay adequate attending to their clients more than of all time earlier. From a strategic position clients are a pillar of any strategic action ( Ohmae 1991 ) and as Drucker opined that, the intent of any concern is to make and keep clients ( Drucker 2004 ) . Therefore pull offing the clients, supervising their relationships with the organisation and analysing their behaviour towards the public presentation of an organisation are strategic actions and strategic necessities for today ‘s endeavors. On the other manus the morning of 21 century coincided with the revolution of information systems and engineerings and undeniably what resides at the bosom of this phenomenon is the cyberspace with its exponential growing and planetary rampancy as the most of import progeny of information engineering. Thus, all organisational activities and programs have been deeply affected by the cyberspace.

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In regard to this fact the lifting tide of e-business systems and attacks can be easy justified. From its origin, bookmans and observers in this sense ( Porter 2001, Porter and Kramer 2001 ; Huber et Al. 2007 ) argue that e-business systems and besides information engineerings influence the organisation and its public presentation basically in two ways:

By optimising the operation of an organisation in different dimensions unprecedentedly and unusually through cut downing the sum costs, heightening and hastening the operation and heightening decision-making.

By opening new locales of carry oning concern and unearthing new spheres of competition or technically transfiguring the construction of competition.

In this respect, over the past old ages client relationship direction or shortly CRM as one of the most of import systems in modern organisations has been digitalized and a new attack to pull offing clients has been developed known universally as e-CRM or electronic client relationship direction. E-CRM brings all benefits of an e-business into traditional CRM and enables an organisation to surpass challengers in this context by heightening client relationships and pull offing them intelligently. Literature in this sphere is exponentially turning and a overplus of surveies has been shaped around the construct of e-CRM. However, unhappily in selling and direction literature most of surveies which have been devoted to CRM autumn under holistic, conceptual and non industrial-based or focussed. So, specific advantages of a such system for specific types of houses still requires more academic and scientific attending in order to better both the theoretical and practical organic structure of cognition. Therefore, Literature suffers from a famine of a anterior survey to look into the influence of a successful execution of e-CRM on different facets of an endeavor.

One of the fertile countries of question in this context can be the impact of e-CRM on fiscal fight of Small and medium size endeavors ( SMEs ) . SMEs are universally considered as deducing engines of economic systems and in both developed and developing states legion surveies have been conducted to etherise and look into the operation and public presentation of these endeavors. However, SMEs perform in different industries and their industrial context to a great extent affairs in theory overall construction, public presentation and fight, therefore, to get at a practical and analytical theoretical account for e-CRM in the SME context a specific economic sector can be chosen and scrutinized more efficaciously. This survey marks and addresses this valuable filed and through empirical observation research edifice blocks of e-CRM and the manner they improve the fiscal public presentation of SMEs through a theory-building survey to explicate the influence of e-CRM in fight of SMEs holistically. To execute this undertaking the ICT sector was selected as the sector of this research based on two grounds:

E-CRM is an ICT driven system and its design and execution can be measured and analyzed successfully in an ICT SME due to substructure every bit good as industrial construction and organisational construction.

In an ICT sector the likeliness of acquaintance with and use of e-business system amongst clients are seemingly good and hence, the survey of e-CRM systems and their organisational effects and strategic wakes can be theoretically enhanced.

To clear up the survey, streamline the flow of informations and exemplify the conceptual foundation of this concern research. In the following subdivision of this proposal a brief reappraisal of literature is consistently carried out.

Literature Review And Research Background

In the 3rd millenary, modern direction has entered into a new sphere in which information engineerings have seamlessly intermingled with concern and operation of an organisation ( Van Hooft and Stegwee 2001 ; Bradshaw 2001 ; Rowley 2002 ; Pavic et Al. 2007 ) in better words, concern without information engineering means nil. This phenomenon, accentuates the importance of e-business theoretical accounts across all organisational dimensions ( Kiang et al. 2000 ; Rasheed 2009 ) .Subsequently, over the past old ages legion bookmans have developed theoretical accounts and techniques to use e-business systems in different facets of disposal and direction in order to suit alterations that have happened after the information revolution in organisational scientific discipline ( e.g. Chang Jiang et al. 2003 ; Palmer 2002 ; Fillis et Al. 2004 ; Arnott, and Bridgewater2002 ; Burn and ash 2005 ; Pai and Yeh 2008 ) . On the other manus, from a marketing side of the organisational and concern direction, it has been consensually proved that, modern selling has to use e-business systems and attacks systematically, proactively and intelligently ( Amit and Zott 2001 ; Melewar and Smith 2003 ; Gale and Abraham 2005 ; Schibrowsky et Al. 2007 ) . This tendency is by and large attributable to this fact that, today ‘s markets are now dominated by the fast technological development and developments which necessitate all organisation to go in sync with technological alterations and tendencies ( Cagliano et al. 2003 ; Cagliano et Al. 2006 ; Barua et Al. 2004 ; Devaraj et Al. 2007 ) .

Furthermore, information engineerings have changed the face of relationships an organisation makes with its stakeholders ( Susniene, and Sargunas, 2009 ) peculiarly clients because the concern universe is networked ( Julta et al. 2002 ; Li and Chang 2004 ) and internet-based markets have linked planetary clients unprecedentedly ( Ngai 2003 ) . In retrospect, Heinen ( 1996 ) opines that, the Internet is more than merely a market place for carry oning minutess ; it is germinating into a new medium for pass oning and interacting with clients and therefore affects the functions that selling professionals play in their concerns.

In conformity, other faculty members besides claim that cyberspace requires new digitalized selling attacks ( Durkin and McGowan 2001a, B ) .So, arguably, the effectual direction of organisational relationships particularly with its clients in a planetary graduated table affairs more than of all time before ( Hill 2006, p.6 ; Jones and George 2008, p.212 ) . Kotler and Keller ( 2006 ) underscore this issue and argue that relationship direction is reflected in relationship selling as one of the pillars of modern holistic direction ( p.17 ) . Further, Kurtz ( 2008 ) signifies this point by specifying selling as the art and scientific discipline of pull offing relationships with clients ( p.310 ) Grawel and Levy ( 2008 ) besides confirm the criticalness of relationship direction in modern selling and throw visible radiation on the strategic importance of pull offing client relationships ( p.5 ) . In regard to these notes, selling literature shows that, the most common attacks and techniques to pull off clients ‘ relationships with an organisation have been encapsulated into the construct of client relationship direction ( CRM ) as a strategic tool ( Mukerjee and Singh 2009 ) which is all about set uping and keeping a deep, wide and profitable relationship with clients to render client plus, equity or capital ( Algesheimer and Wangenheim, 2006 ; Bruhn et Al. 2006 ) .Stanley et Al. ( 2009 ) nicely describes this impression by showing: “ Companies that subscribe to the doctrine of relationship selling topographic point the highest precedence on constructing long-run relationships with clients.

Conventional wisdom holds that the cost of retaining clients is merely approximately one-fifth the cost of happening and geting new clients. Furthermore, every bit of import as geting new clients is, retaining the most valuable clients provides a greater lift to a company ‘s net incomes ” and accordingly reason that, to maximise net income from client bounds with the house or client equity, sellers must develop a procedure for placing, pulling and retaining high value clients. This procedure is nil but an effectual CRM. Furthermore, Commentators besides believe that CRM is non merely a competitory tool for companies but besides improves the profitableness of its users by cut downing the selling costs and besides encouraging purchase and heightening client trueness and frequent purchase behaviour ( Davids 1999, Day 2003 ) .

Mukerjee and Singh ( 2009 ) uphold the anterior surveies and province that, CRM is regarded as an of import tool for “ delivering gross growing through improved client experiences, retaining and turning bing client bases, increasing client acquisition rates and act uponing the development of new merchandise and services ” . In 21 century, in the face of aforesaid alterations, this construct besides has been modernized and substantiated into electronic CRM or shortly e-CRM. This new strand brings all benefits of traditional CRM in add-on to capablenesss needed for get bying with challenges with cyberspace clients ( Abela et al. 1997 ; Winsor et Al. 2004 ; Yun et Al. 2008 ) and enables the organisation to hike its public presentation on an on-line context ( Loundbury 2000a, B ; Ellis-Chadwick et Al. 2002 ) .

Therefore, e-CRM is a fertile land of survey for all organisations irrespective of size, range of operation and industrial context ( Greenspan 2002 ; McIntyre2003 ; Lawler 2005 ) . In this respect, it can be logically argued that, organisations with less market power and selling capablenesss can use e-CRM in order to better their place in the markets and heighten their selling activities. So, perceivably little and average size endeavors ( SMEs ) are amongst the chief users of CRM and e-CRM systems. Because the research show that, SMEs have fewer resources and ergo lower impact on markets and besides inability to set up, manage and keep their clients ‘ relationships due to miss of adequate resources and capablenesss ( Gilmore et Al. 2001 ; OGorman 2001 ; Singh et Al. 2008 ) .

However, little and average endeavors are universally considered as the anchor of economic growing in all states and besides the bulk of SMEs have simple systems and processs, which allow flexibleness, immediate feedback, short decision-making concatenation, better apprehension and quicker response to client demands than larger organisations ( OECD 2002 ; APEC 2006 ; Singh et Al. 2008 ) . Having considered these findings, it is vividly assumed that, SMEs can use e-CRM to hike their fight and profitableness. However, SMEs perform in different economic sectors and their public presentation and direction are to a great extent reliant on their industrial contexts ( Ritchie and Brindley 2000 ; Hill 2001 ; Karaev et Al. 2007 ) . Therefore, the effectual design, preparation and execution of marketing techniques and system such as e-CRM attack and more significantly mensurating and analysing the effects of such enterprises in overall public presentation of an endeavor all must be addressed through a systematic industrial analysis which incorporates industrial construction into marketing planning and orientation of a SME ( Morrison 2003 ) .

This position logically foremost and first should find the ingredients of en e-CRM system and so orient the theoretical account for SMEs in different sectors in order to place the chief ways of measurement and look intoing the overall public presentation of such attacks within an endeavor and their cardinal benefits. In respect to this axiom, the acceptance of e-CRM and the expected strategic effects of implementing an e-CRM system may differ across industries ( Romano and Fjermestad 2002 ; Romano, 2003 ) .

In add-on, e-CRM and its characteristics range from advanced applications, such as database-driven merchandise customization tools, to simple 1s, like a line of contact information on a web page ( Romano and Fjermestad 2002,2003 ) hence, ICT substructure of an endeavor and the environment at which it perform straight affects the province of using an e-CRM system. Given these points, SMEs that perform in the ICT industry on an economic system can be seen appropriate for using e-CRM. In malice of theses debate, a study on literature reviewed this dissatisfactory fact that, the organic structure of cognition plaints the deficiency of a anterior survey to research and look into the overall impact of e-CRM on public presentation and fight of ICT-based SMEs.

This probe is a complex, multi-staged and multifaceted filed of enquiry which must unearth the basiss of e-CRM for SMEs and so set the findings for SMEs in an ICT sector hostel order to develop practical and analytical theoretical accounts that analyze the function of e-CRM on overall public presentation of an ICT-based SME. Harmonizing to all above mentioned conceptual findings about the CRM and e-CRM it can be said that, this geographic expedition and probe trades with fiscal public presentation of a SME in two ways as direct and indirect:

Direct impact: reduction selling costs and bettering selling relationship in a shorter span of clip with lower costs

Triping and heightening purchase and redemption and increasing sale

In drumhead, nowadays e-CRM is widely considered as a competitory tool that increases profitableness and later fight of organisations. This issue is besides every bit significantly critical for SMEs. Although much has been written about these topics but the organic structure of SME selling cognition still suffers from an absence of a comprehensive, analytical and practical theory-building survey to explicate the different facets and dimensions of the influences of e-CRM on overall public presentation of a SME. This survey addressed this spread from an ICT industrial position by suggesting a theoretical theoretical account.

Outline of Knowledge Gap and Research Problem

Management literature is full with surveies about the function of CRM and e-CRM systems in organisational fight, but the organic structure of cognition in this context laments the deficiencies of a survey in look intoing the function of e-CRM in overall public presentation of SMEs in ICT sectors. This public presentation can be measured complicatedly by analysing the fiscal effects of following an e-CRM system. Analyzing this issue engenders a grate sum of penetrations for both directors and practicians and besides expounds the significance of e-CRM in different industrial contexts for developing more competitory SMEs and raising the profitableness of an economic system. An intensive theory-building research can execute this undertaking scientifically and lend to the organic structure of cognition well.

Research Design And Methodology

This survey in an exploratory survey which is in pursuant of developing a theoretical tool therefore philosophically falls under interpretivism category and scientifically uses both secondary and primary beginnings of informations with multiples analyses. First of all harmonizing to knowledge spread and research job secondary informations are collected from well-recognized beginnings by carry oning an in-depth and comprehensive literature reappraisal. Four beginnings are used to harvest informations as:


Working paper series

Journal articles and

International peer-reviewed conference proceedings

The literature reappraisal, targets the bing organic structure of literature in three countries as:

Customer relationship direction ( CRM )

E-business, e-marketing and e-CRM systems

SME public presentation and operation including fiscal public presentation in general every bit good as ICT sector by unearthing related surveies across different states

After roll uping secondary informations and set abouting an integrative conceptual analysis, an intensive conceptual model will be proposed as the initial interim theoretical tool that shows how e-CRM influences fiscal public presentation of SMEs in ICT sector. This conceptualisation is accompanied with a set of hypotheses that are built on different pillars of conceptual model. Then a quantitative survey initiated by choosing the sample SMEs in the ICT sector and so carry oning interview with executives or top troughs, executing fiscal papers analysis such as alterations in sale, market portion, return on investing and other standards. Then this set of primary informations will be analyzed and interpreted with a multiple analyses approach based on the type and figure of variables, graduated tables and concepts as by research would be manifested. The information analyses trial proposed hypotheses and change over the conceptual model into a theoretical theoretical account. This theoretical theoretical account will be explicated in order to determine the empirical organic structure of an analytical every bit good as practical theory for execution of e-CRM in ICT endeavors as a agency of positive alterations in fiscal place of SMEs within an industry. This theoretical theoretical account besides throws visible radiation on some latent facets of SMEs fight and enables policy shapers to put more effectual policies, enterprises and steps.

Research Aims:

In regard to the cognition spread and research job, this survey is designed and administrated to run into the below aims satisfactorily:

Researching the context of CRM holistically to clear up and explicate its boundaries, design and developments

Understanding the anatomy of e-CRM and its enablers and cardinal success factors of execution in SMEs particularly in ICT sector.

Understanding the chief countries of SMEs ‘ public presentation in order to step and analyse the operational public presentation of an SMEs in different industrial sectors such as ICT sector

Developing an intensive theoretical account for groking and analysing the function of e-CRM in public presentation of SMEs in peculiar from a fiscal position

Crafting an analytical and practical theory to explain the general relationship between e-CRM and SMEs fight

Offering chief deductions of the survey to non merely troughs, practicians and sellers to optimise farther decision-making and policy scene but besides to interested research workers that are meaning to be after complementary surveies

Research Questions:

What is e-CRM and how does it differ from classical CRM?

To what widen does an e-CRM systems for SMEs differ from e-CRM for a big organisation?

How does an e-CRM system affect the fiscal public presentation of an SME?

Does the influence of e-CRM on fiscal public presentation of an SME alteration based on the industrial context of operation? , if yes, how does this take topographic point in ICT sector?

How is a theoretical account for speculating the fiscal influence of e-CRM on SMEs in developed and what does this theoretical account imply for Malayan SMEs?


This survey is traveling to turn to the deficiency of the anterior survey on the consequence of e-CRM on public presentation of SMEs in ICT sector. This filed of enquiry is a critical sphere in the modern-day literature of SMEs and unluckily has been merely overlooked by bookmans. The method of probe is a theory-building attack that utilizes an integrative set of qualitative and quantitative techniques to use a great trade of secondary and primary informations. The chief aim of the survey was discussed and stated as the development of a theoretical theoretical account and analytical tool for troughs, practicians and policy shapers who engage in public presentation and fight of SMEs in ICT sector as the unit of this research survey in order to grok the mechanism of alteration in public presentation of SMEs chiefly in fiscal footings through the successful execution of an e-CRM system


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