Investigating the antecedents to the adoption of SCRM technologies by start-up companies

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Hasani, T ; Jamil, B ; Dehghantanha, A (2016)

Despite their fairly recent emergence, start-up companies now play an important role in the economic development of countries around the globe. These companies have fewer tangible assets and capital, and therefore, the efficient delivery of services and products is a key business priority for them. Customer relationship management (CRM) technologies, which are designed to facilitate customer engagement during the design, development and delivery of services and products may play a significant role in the success or failure of start-up companies. Developments in new communication technologies have transformed traditional CRM into electronic CRM (eCRM), mobile CRM (mCRM); and more recently, social CRM (SCRM). However, there remains very little understanding of the factors affecting SCRM adoption in start-up businesses. The relative newness of SCRM technologies, coupled with the swiftly evolving nature of start-up companies: which has made them difficult cases to study – has limited the amount of research undertaken in this area. This paper aims to close this gap by proposing a framework that depicts the factors affecting start-up companies’ intention to adopt SCRM applications, and explores the relative importance of these factors. Inspired by an extended Technological, Organisational and Environmental (TOE) framework, this paper investigates effects of technological characteristics (TC), organisational characteristics (OC), environmental characteristics (EC) and managerial characteristics (MC) on start-up companies’ intentions to adopt SCRM applications.\ud \ud The results outlined in this research indicate that the observability, compatibility and trialability of SCRM solutions positively affect SCRM adoption in start-up businesses. Moreover, the availability of internal financial resources has a similarly positive effect. When considering environmental characteristics, it was found that support from venture capitalists, crowd funding support, governmental support, business angels support and external pressure all positively affect the intention to adopt SCRM applications within start-up businesses.
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