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Journal of Economic and Social Research 3(2) 2001, 2002 Preliminary Issue, 1-34

Customer Relationship Management:
Emerging Practice, Process, and Discipline
Atul Parvatiyar1 & Jagdish N. Sheth2
Abstract. Customer relationship management (CRM) has once again gained
prominence amongst academics and practitioners. However, there is a tremendous
amount of confusion regarding its domain and meaning. In this paper, the authors
explore the conceptual foundations of CRM by examining the literature on
relationship marketing and other disciplines that contribute to the knowledge of
CRM. A CRM process framework is proposed that builds on other relationship
development process models. CRM implementation challenges as well as CRM's
potential to become a distinct discipline of marketing are also discussed in this
JEL Classification Codes: M31.
Key Words: Customer Relationship Management; Relationship Marketing; CRM
Process; CRM Definition; CRM Strategy; CRM Programs; CRM Implementation;
CRM and Relationship Marketing Discipline.

1. Introduction
Customer relationship management (CRM) has attracted the expanded
attention of practitioners and scholars. More and more companies are
adopting customer-centric strategies, programs, tools, and technology for
efficient and effective customer relationship management. They are
realizing the need for in-depth and integrated customer knowledge in order
to build close cooperative and partnering relationships with their customers.
The emergence of new channels and technologies is significantly altering
how companies interface with their customers, a development bringing about
a greater degree of integration between marketing, sales, and customer
service functions in organizations. For practitioners, CRM represents an
enterprise approach to developing full-knowledge about customer behavior

Robinson Research Fellow & Associate Professor of Marketing , J.Mack Robinson
College of Business, Georgia...

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