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The case of customer recruitment processes: Dynamic evolution of customer relationship management resource networks

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This study is borne from a concern that organisations continue to invest significantly in customer relationship management (CRM) systems that are redundant by the time they are launched. This is because these systems are designed for stable environments. This paper examines ways in which CRM resource networks can be designed to be adaptive on a continuous basis. Drawing conclusions from the literature review, we define the theoretical focus of this study at the ‘intersection’ of three theories, and propose a conceptual model describing the phenomenon of interest. We use as our unit of analysis customer recruitment processes (CRPs), which are a subset of CRM systems. Based on an in-depth case study, we found seven principles to guide organisations develop CRPs that are designed for change. We expand on the conceptual model by linking together these seven empirically derived principles so that design issues influenced by stakeholders, social networks, and resources are better understood. This study is of value to scholars because it uses, for the first time, three theories – stakeholder theory, resource-based theory, and social network theory – to study resource networks in CRPs. It is of value to practitioners because it provides direction for management action.

Keywords: CRM; case study; customer recruitment processes; resource-based theory; social network theory; stakeholder theory

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Brunel Business School, UK 2: Cranfield School of Management, UK 3: National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ireland

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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