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CRM literature: conceptual and functional insights by keyword analysis

Eleni K. Kevork (Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)
Adam P. Vrechopoulos (Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 6 February 2009




The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on customer relationship management (CRM) to obtain a comprehensive framework of mutually exclusive CRM research areas and sub‐areas free of all potentially disruptive factors (plethora of CRM definitions, personal judgments, etc.).


The keywords reported in 396 CRM articles published during the period 2000‐2006 are used to uncover first a great number of detailed keyword sub‐groups and, by subject summation, the CRM‐related research areas. This classification scheme is considered unbiased, in contrast with any direct classification of articles alone among CRM research areas fixed in advance.


An up‐to‐date conceptual and functional CRM framework emerges, consisting of a total of nine distinct research areas having their own weights, importance and popularity among the research community. Newly emerging CRM research areas are self‐identified as attracting the interest of the researchers and managers.


Keywords are activated, for a first time, as an added value characteristic reflecting genuinely the authors' beliefs about the subject content fields of their articles, important enough to reveal a self‐supported and self‐weighted unbiased and exhaustive CRM framework, useful to researchers and marketing practitioners. The paper offers strong evidence that e‐CRM is too complex to be comprehensively classified by mere procedures and simple criteria alone.



Kevork, E.K. and Vrechopoulos, A.P. (2009), "CRM literature: conceptual and functional insights by keyword analysis", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 48-85.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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