Purpose – Although organizational change is inevitable with customer relationship management (CRM) implementation, very little is known about how this change affect employees, and how their actions in turn inﬂuence the success of CRM projects. The purpose of this study is to address this void in the current CRM literature. Design/methodology/approach – Using an exploratory approach, 13 in-depth interviews were conducted with bank managers and staff of three banks to provide preliminary support for the conceptual framework. Findings – The three banks approached their CRM projects with very different results. Two banks achieved less success from their CRM implementation as a result of too little focus being placed on managing CRM-induced change and people. Only one bank focused a large part of its CRM budget on change management and the organizational factors critical to the implementation. Results demonstrate a possible correlation between employees’ commitment to the CRM initiative and the positive outcomes of a bank’s performance. Research limitations/implications – This paper lays down the foundation for more thorough studies on employees’ affective commitment to change in the CRM context. Empirical research will be needed to verify the conceptual model presented. Practical implications – The importance of identifying and securing employees’ affective commitment to CRM-induced change to ensure the successful roll out of a CRM implementation is highlighted. Originality/value – Initial evidence is gained of the importance of employee commitment to CRM induced change for successful CRM implementation. A total of six organizational drivers are identiﬁed which assist in gaining employee commitment to CRM induced change.
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