The extant research in the context of large firms suggests that dedicated customer relationship management (CRM) software applications play a critical role in creating and sustaining customer relationships. Although CRM is also of significant strategic importance to small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it is commonly observed that most SMEs do not employ dedicated CRM software applications for various reasons. Rather, they use generic Internet-based information technologies to manage customer relationships. However, little research has investigated the extent to which the use of these generic Internet technologies contributes to the performance benefits of SMEs. To fill this research gap, the present study builds upon the literature on organizational capabilities, marketing and the SME, and develops a research model to explore the relationships between the characteristics of generic Internet technologies, Internet-based CRM (eCRM) capabilities, and the resulting performance benefits in the SME context. Through a survey across 286 SMEs in Ireland, we find overall strong empirical evidence to support our hypotheses. Theoretical and practical implications and future research are discussed.
- Electronic-Customer Relationship Management (eCRM),
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/patrick_ibbotson/13/