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Why is interfunctional cooperation important for new product design

One of the most significant organizational communication is inter-functional communication, the institute of customer relationship management CRM. The significance of communication between departments in an organization comes to be best evident when that communication breaks down in the departments.

The implementation of different policies to build up inter-departmental communication help to emphasize its significance and retain an effective flow of information.

Customer Relationship Management CRM is an IT based system that manage customer long term relationship, and also inter-functional relationship within the organization with the ultimate purpose of creating customer value by sharing concise, sufficient, accurate, timely, and reliable information.

Inter-functional communication using CRM system is critical for the organization to stay productive and efficient, because it reduces inter-functional conflicts. Effective planning, implementation and usage of CRM system depends on three inter-functional communication perspective; interpersonal interaction, written interaction, and collaboration which ultimately play important role in developing higher perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of the CRM system among employees for accepting the CRM system.

Introduction The customer relationship management CRM approach has received much attention in marketing thought during the last three decades Ck, 2015. At the core of this approach is the use of IT-based systems CRM systems to manage customer relationships, and also relationships within an organization with the ultimate purpose of creating customer value Payne, 2002.

Customer relationship management is a strategic use of information and technology to manage relationship between customers and organizational departments e.

It is observed that the implementation of CRM systems often turn out to be failures. Effective inter-functional communication is a means to reduce the inter-functional conflicts that are normal parts of all organizational life. Organizations internally create specialized functional units Souder, 1977 for instance, IT and Marketing; in order to survive in the industry. These different specialized functional units have unique capabilities, resources, and skills in order to accomplish their own functional tasks and consequently to achieve organizational goals.

Shaw, Shaw, and Enke 2003 identified critical sources of disharmony between engineers and marketers such as differences in education and training, and different priorities and goals.

Payne 2006 also identified a gap between marketing and IT function. These inter-functional conflicts affect the organizational performance Ashraf et al. Therefore, there is a great need for an effective inter-functional integration to achieve the common organizational goals.

Further, a strong inter-functional relationship between the IT marketing departments is central to the eventual acceptance of such a system.

The emphasis on IT points to the effective communication between the IT department and the marketing department is crucial to CRM success. When the members of the marketing and IT departments interact, they can reach mutual agreements on both how the system can be used and how it can be developed to match the needs of marketing department. This is of importance to the eventual success of a CRM system initiative, since it affects the perceived ease of use PEUthe perceived usefulness PU and, subsequently, involvement IN of marketing in the planning, implementation, and usage of CRM system Ozturk, 2016.

Several past studies reported that PEU and PU are two instrumental factors of TAM, which are consistent critical predictors over the adoption and post-adoption of a system e.

In addition, TAM also allows to add more variables as the antecedents of these instrumental beliefs. Prior studies also have pointed out the importance of inter-functional communication in general for the successful implementation of IT in organizations e. A distinction is made in literature between different ways of conducting such inter-functional communication.

There is a lack of studies addressing how different ways of inter-functional communication affect the outcome of IT implementation, including the outcome of CRM projects. Fundamental to any inter-functional relationship is that it is based upon a communication between the different departments involved. This communication can be conducted in three different ways: In this study, the focus is on the role of communication between the IT and the marketing departments in the implementation of CRM systems.

The remaining part of this study is arranged as follows: Literature review and theoretical foundation 2. Rigby, Reichheld, and Schefter 2002 and Sawhney and Parikh 2001 discussed integration aspect with across the organization focus. In addition, different researches Ashraf et al. IFI is a multifaceted organizational task Meyer, 2005.

The term integration has different meanings in different disciplines.

Why is interfunctional cooperation important for new product design

Braganza 2002 discusses three different perspectives of integration such as characteristics, scope, and elements. Second, scope means that integration of one department with one or more than one departments.

Third is a composite view consisting upon interaction and collaboration presented by Paashuis 1998. Therefore, there are three aspects of inter-functional integration: IPI means that exchange of information between different functions consisting of different day-to-day activities, for instance, face-to-face committee meetings, phone conversation, and teleconference meetings Ashraf et al.

Asad Afzal Humayon

Written interaction WI refers why is interfunctional cooperation important for new product design the exchange of written information between different function via forms, reports, memoranda, and materials by fax Ashraf et al. Along with interactive view, collaborative view is also a critical factor for the acceptance of CRM system.

Guenzi and Troilo 2007 argue that CB and interaction are two important and critical success factors in effective integration.

From CB aspect; integration consists of collaborative behavior, mutual understanding and collective goals, working together and shared values Ashraf et al. According to Kahn 1996departments become interdependent due to inter-functional collaboration that consequently benefits both the functional units. Therefore, collaboration and interaction have distinct and significant effect on IFI. Consequently, it motivates both the departments to participate in the planning, implementation, and system usage, because PEU and PU have effects on attitude toward using or involving in the system usage Davis, 1989.

The proposed research model. Integration within the marketing and IT departments refers their ability to integrate exchange related activities in order to facilitate planning, implementation, and usage of CRM system. Isaksson 2005 reported that Avlonitis and Panagopoulos 2005 identified three factors such as individual, social and organizational factors, and Venkatesh 2000 categorized three constructs such as emotion, control, motivation—as casual factors of PEU and PU of information system.

PEU is defined as the degree to which a person believes using a system will be free of effort, and PU can be defined as the extent to which a person believe that the system can enhance her or his performance Ozturk, 2016.

Why is interfunctional cooperation important for new product design

Therefore, it is quite useful to test it in another setting like in the companies of growing economy of Pakistan. Frequently interaction of marketing manager with IT manager can enhance the capabilities of staff regarding information needs, technical skills, and usage of information systems. Therefore, effective IPI, WI, and CB between marketing and IT functions may help to design and implement an information system that is easy to use and more useful for marketing department.

Consequently, following hypotheses are proposed: If a system easy to use, then it can be more useful Venkatesh, 2000. Legris, Ingham, and Collerette 2003 found four measurements related to PEU that a system is easy to operate, easy to do, what want to do, inflexible to interact with the system, and overall easy to use.

Several prior studies Davis, 1989 ; Isaksson, 2005 ; Legris et al. Hence, without further arguing, a following hypothesis is proposed. PEU and PU determine the actual system usage that evaluate the degree at which user currently uses the system Davis, 1989. Actual system usage is also affected by IN of managers and staff in different phases of CRM initiative: Prior studies Ashraf et al.

According to Davis 1989PEU and PU of a system effect behavioral and actual intension of user involvement in the planning, implementation, and usage of an information management system. The authors can also infer that an extent to which a person believes that CRM technology is easy to use and useful, are significant in predicting the IN of users in the planning, implementation, and usage of CRM system. Therefore, following hypothesis are stated: Sampling and data collection 3. These cities have received a lot of economic reform and development, are the most representative of developed areas in Pakistan.

In order to achieve higher accuracy regarding data collection from right person, large companies from different industries rather focusing on one industry were selected. The reason for selecting large companies is that they have different functions like marketing and IT departments, which points to the need for functional integration and may also have implemented or planning to implement CRM system.

It was not sure regarding which company had CRM system and which had not, therefore, companies were selected based on size of the companies with the expectations that they may have both IT and marketing department. Selecting informants In this study, the authors focus on marketing perceptive only and in order to select right and concerned why is interfunctional cooperation important for new product design.

The authors emphasized on the opinions of the marketing managers only. Therefore, all the respondents were marketing managers and it was rational to expect that they had deep insights into the marketing activities and the most involved in the cross-functional activities in order to achieve collective strategic objectives and were knowledgeable enough regarding the content of the survey or inquiry.

It was promised about the confidentiality of their data provided and they would receive a report of the results of the study in the end. Data collection method Data were collected via an online survey sent to 225 large companies in Pakistan.

During discussion with managers on telephone, the authors asked their email addresses for sending online survey. The survey questionnaire was designed on the web link provided by the Mid-Sweden University, Sweden and it was the easiest and fastest way to collect the required data when respondents are geographically dispersed.

After every two weeks, follow-up emails and phone calls were done to remind regarding answering the survey questionnaire. At last, the authors received 216 responses, whereas usable questionnaires were 210 and remaining six responses had significant missing values. These responses were from those companies that have implemented CRM system.

Construct measurement The authors followed the steps recommended by Churchill 1979 in scale development. Each factor is clearly defined and the literature review was done to find any relevant scales. Each measure is adopted from previous literature, where it is considered to be appropriate. The questionnaire comprised of two sections. All questions were close ended and the survey was modest in length. Involvement in the CRM system was measured by three items such as involvement in planning, implementation, usage of CRM system adopted from Ashraf et al.

Measurements of the constructs are shown in Table 1.