Customer Relationship Management and Firm Performance: The Mediating Role of Business Strategy

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 326-346, 2010

Posted: 3 Mar 2011 Last revised: 28 Nov 2012

Martin Reimann

University of Southern California

Oliver Schilke

University of Arizona

Jacquelyn S. Thomas

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Edwin L. Cox School of Business

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

As managers and academics increasingly raise issues about the real value of CRM, the authors question its direct and unconditional performance effect. The study advances research on CRM by investigating the role of critical mechanisms underlying the CRM-performance link. Drawing from the sources → positions → performance framework, the authors build a research model in which two strategic postures of firms – differentiation and cost leadership – mediate the effect of CRM on firm performance. This investigation also contributes to the literature by drawing attention to the differential impact of CRM in diverse industry environments. The study analyzes data from in-depth field interviews and a large-scale, cross-industry survey, and results reveal that CRM does not affect firm performance directly. Rather, the CRM-performance link is fully mediated by differentiation and cost leadership. In addition, CRM’s impact on differentiation is greater when industry commoditization is high.

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Keywords: CRM, Customer Relationship Management, Business Strategy, Structural Equation Modeling, Mediation, Industry Commoditization

Suggested Citation

Reimann, Martin and Schilke, Oliver and Thomas, Jacquelyn S., Customer Relationship Management and Firm Performance: The Mediating Role of Business Strategy (2010). Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 326-346, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1774012

Martin Reimann (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Oliver Schilke

University of Arizona ( email )

1130 E. Helen St.
McClelland Hall
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Jacquelyn S. Thomas

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Edwin L. Cox School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 750333
Dallas, TX 75275-0333
United States

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