Customer Knowledge Management (CKM) Practices in the Telecommunication Industry in Bangladesh

Customer Knowledge Management (CKM) Practices in the Telecommunication Industry in Bangladesh

Mohammad Fateh Ali Khan Panni (City University, Dhaka, Bangladesh) and Naimul Hoque (City University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
DOI: 10.4018/IJISSS.2017040103
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Customer Knowledge Management (CKM) has become buzzword in modern knowledge driven society. As an innovative concept the study has attempted to find out the level of orientation of CKM practices in telecommunication sector in a developing country like Bangladesh through data and methodology triangulation approach. In the first phase of the study, quantitative technique has been used where data has been collected from 42 employees from major telecommunication companies such as Grameen Phone (GP), Banglalink, Robi, Airtel and Teletalk. In order to find out the details explanation of the quantitative results, an extensive open-ended survey has been conducted on experienced mid-level employees. In the last phase of the study, a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was conducted on selected knowledgeable educated customers to cross check the results derived from the corporate people in order to ensure the reliability of the study.
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In recent years, marketing is focusing more on long-run marketing, which includes cutting edge concepts such as Relationship Marketing (RM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) etc. In addition to this, very recently a new concept has been evolved in the academic arena, which is basically concerned with the acquisition, maintenance and utilization of different types of knowledge/ideas/information within an organization, which is known as Knowledge Management (KM) (Paquette, 2006; Rowley, 2002). For example, Haapalainen and Pusa (2012) in an extensive empirical study revealed the level of practices done by the knowledge intensive organizations. Varriale et al., (2012) tried to show about the influence of knowledge management to deal with the organizational conflict. With the development of Knowledge Management concepts in the organizations, it is felt necessary by many organizations to properly acquire, preserve, maintain and utilize customer knowledge to achieve better marketing performance through long-run marketing vision. This ultimately led to develop a new concept in the marketing area, which is known as Customer Knowledge Management (CKM). As a matter of fact, Customer Knowledge Management (CKM) is providing a new dimension by preserving relevant customer knowledge in an appropriate way, which can assist the marketers to understand what customers really want and, at the same time, adequately inform the customer about the assortments that the marketers have to offer. In recent period, CKM is gaining much importance in the academic world as well as in the professional field. As a most recent and innovative area, a body of literature can be found that has discussed a very preliminary insight about CKM. Panni (2013) summed up the secondary literature sources so far could be found in the area of CKM. According to his study, most of the prior literatures in the field mainly discussed about the basic matters such as what is it, from where it has been derived, some of its major issues etc. and most of these literatures found are conceptual in nature. For example, there exists a large body of literature (such as Dous, Kolbe, Salomann and Brenner, 2005; Paquette, 2006; Vorheaur, 2008; Zanzani, Rouzbehani and Dabbagh, 2008) that have only tried to conceptually discuss the components of CRM construct of CKM i.e. knowledge for, from and about customer. Some literatures were found (Bueren, Schierholz, Kolbe and Brenner, 2004; Leitch and Rosen, 2001; Talet, 2012) that have tried to conceptually discuss the importance of KM integration with CRM in the CKM process. Dennis, Marsland and Cockett (2001) in their study tried to find out the influence of CRM components (knowledge for, from and about customers) on the marketing performance through a qualitative exploratory study. Bose and Sugumaran (2003) in their study tried to discuss the importance of KM aspect in the CKM process and the possible impact of overall KM aspect on the organizational performance. Very few existing literatures exist that have tried to explain the influence of the CKM elements (both CRM and KM aspects) on the organizational performance and to a limited extent on the marketing performance mainly as a part of the organizational performance (such as Davenport and Glaser, 2002; Karami, Gharleghi, Nikbakth and Mirasadi, 2010; Peyman and Safanaz, 2008; Rowley, 2001; Sentosa, Piaralal and Bohari, 2011; Weiss, Capozzi and Prusak, 2004; Wiij, 1994). The studies that could be found in the literature infer that there is a serious lacking on any empirical study on CKM and suggested to undertake extensive studies in the different sectors and research contexts (Roy and Stavropoulos, 2007; Dous et al., 2005 and Bueren et al., 2004, Zanjani et. al., 2008). All these prior studies delineate the basic structure or architecture of CKM model (with its two different layers such as CRM and KM layer). In addition to that, another basic organizational CKM orientation has been derived from the prior existing studies (discussed above), which is major CRM process of CKM architecture. Panni (2015) suggested conducting any future study that will investigate the deployment of CKM practice in any geographical area especially in a developing country. Abid and Ali (2014) notified the scarcity of empirical studies in CKM literature. They further suggested the future researchers to conduct any empirical study on the level of CKM practices in essential service oriented industry like telecom or banking sector.

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