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

Thuyuyen Nguyen, Teresa Waring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-848
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013

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