E-CRM and Managerial Discretion

E-CRM and Managerial Discretion

Tim Coltman (University of Wollongong, Australia) and Sara Dolnicar (University of Wollongong, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-947-2.ch228
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Abstract

Most sectors of industry, commerce, and government have reported variation in the performance payoff from electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM). In this paper we build on surprisingly sparse literature regarding the importance of managerial discretion to show that the heterogeneity of beliefs held by managers about e-CRM execution matter when explaining e-CRM success. Drawing on a data sample comprising 50 interviews and 293 survey responses we utilise segmentation techniques to identify significant differences in managerial beliefs and then associate these belief segments with e-CRM performance. Results indicate that (1) three distinct types of managers can be identified based on the heterogeneity of their e-CRM beliefs: mindfully optimistic, mindfully realistic, and mindfully pessimistic; (2) that there is far less homogeneity at the individual firm level than is normally assumed in the literature; (3) that het-erogeneity in managerial beliefs is systematically associated with organisational performance; and (4) these results serve to remind practitioners that e-CRM performance is dependent upon the right balance between managerial optimism and realism.

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