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Customer relationship management research (1992‐2002): An academic literature review and classification

E.W.T. Ngai (Department of Management and Marketing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 1 October 2005




To review the academic literature on customer relationship management (CRM), provide a comprehensive bibliography and propose a method of classifying that literature.


A range of online databases were searched to provide a comprehensive listing of journal articles on CRM. Six hundred articles were identified and reviewed for their direct relevance to CRM. Two hundred and five articles were subsequently selected. Each of these articles was further reviewed and classified. The review and classification process was independently verified. All papers were allocated to the main and sub‐categories based on the major focus of each paper.


Papers and research on CRM falls into five broad categories (CRM – General, Marketing, Sales, Service and Support, and IT and IS) and a further 34 sub‐categories. The most popular areas covered by the papers lay in the sub‐category of CRM management, planning and strategy; and CRM general, concept, and study followed by papers in software, tools and systems; data mining, knowledge management, and e‐commerce.


This is the first identifiable academic literature review of CRM research. The bibliography provides an academic database of the literature between 1992 and 2002 covering 89 journals. The classification approach provides a means to conceptualise the coverage of CRM and the relative popularity of CRM topic areas.



Ngai, E.W.T. (2005), "Customer relationship management research (1992‐2002): An academic literature review and classification", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 582-605.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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