The adoption of customer relationship management (CRM) technology in SMEs: an empirical study

Nguyen, Thuyuyen and Waring, Teresa (2013) The adoption of customer relationship management (CRM) technology in SMEs: an empirical study. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 20 (4). pp. 824-848. ISSN 1462-6004

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Purpose - The aim of this paper is to use innovation decision process to examine CRM technology adoption in small to medium-sized enterprises and its intrinsic link to the nature of the organisation and the individuals within it.

Design/methodology/approach - A survey was administered to SMEs in Southern California to measure the organisational characteristics, specifically management characteristics, employee characteristics, IT resources and firm characteristics. The perception of CRM, decision to adopt CRM, and extent of CRM implementation were also measured. Previously validated instruments were used where required. The data was analysed using multivariate and logistic regression.

Findings - The results indicate that management’s innovativeness affects the firm’s perception of CRM systems, but age, education and gender do not. The decision to implement a CRM system is influenced by management’s perception of CRM, employee involvement, the firm’s size, its perceived market position, but not the industry sector. However, the number and types of CRM features implemented are affected by management’s perception of CRM, employee involvement, the firm’s size, the industry sector, but not its perceived market position.

Research limitations/implications - This study is specific to Southern California and the sample size is relatively small, although sufficient for this analysis. The study should be replicated in more diverse geographic settings with a larger sample.

Practical implications - The study provides evidence of the need for management to be supportive of innovation and technology, to evaluate the available resources (IT knowledge, skills, infrastructure) within the organisation, to recognise the importance of employees’ contributions, and to be aware of the features appropriate to their company’s size and industry sector before undertaking CRM technology adoption.

Originality/value - The findings from this study extend the understanding of CRM adoption in SMEs and help in building a greater understanding of the factors associated with such adoption. It will be of great value to owners/managers in SMEs who are considering adopting CRM.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Customer relationship management, SMEs, CRM, Adoption process, Innovation decision, Organisation characteristics
Subjects: G500 Information Systems
N200 Management studies
N500 Marketing
N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School > Business and Management
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 23 May 2013 15:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 10:56

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