Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Danny N. Bellenger - Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Wesley J. Johnston - Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Jim Boles

Fourth Advisor

Detmar Straub


Although little empirical evidence exists to support this contention, the extant literature suggests that firms can potentially achieve two types of benefits from developing a CRM orientation: (1) increased efficiency in the allocation of resources destined for relationship building and maintenance activities, and (2) enhanced exchange relationship outcomes through the provision of superior customer value (Zablah, Bellenger, and Johnston 2004). This effort focused on the latter of these purported benefits and sought to answer the following two fundamental questions: (1) does a CRM orientation influence the outcome of customer-provider relationships and, if so, how; and (2) does CRM technology have an effect on the relative success of CRM initiatives? In an attempt to address these questions, a conceptual model of "CRM success" was advanced and tested utilizing data from, both, customers and their providers. The conceptual model, which is based on interactive communications theory, posits that a CRM orientation has a positive effect on the quality of the product, service and planned interaction messages providers convey to their customers. The model also suggests that the quality of these messages directly influences customer-perceived relationship value which, in turn, drives other relationship attitudes, perceptions and, ultimately, customers’ behavioral intentions. Finally, the model proposes a moderating role for CRM technology: the association between CRM orientation and message quality is expected to increase (decrease) as the assimilation of CRM technology within firms increases (decreases). The model was tested utilizing (multi-level) SEM techniques. The results provide partial support for the proposed model and suggest the following: 1. As firms’ level of CRM orientation increases, customer-perceived message quality decreases. This inverse relationship between CRM orientation and message quality does not hold true across accounts of different sizes. For large accounts, message quality tends to increase as firms’ level of CRM orientation increases while the opposite holds true for small and medium-sized accounts. 2. The relationship between CRM orientation and message quality is not contingent upon the extent to which firms have assimilated CRM technology. Rather, firms’ level of CRM technology assimilation appears to exert a direct effect upon message quality. 3. Customer-perceived relationship value (CPRV) mediates the effect that product, planned and service messages exert upon customers’ relationship attitudes, perceptions and, ultimately, behavioral intentions.

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Marketing Commons