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  • BRUNEL UNIVERSITY, LONDON

    The Effect of Organisational Culture and Leadership

    on CRM Implementation in Saudi Arabian organisations

    Sarah Basahel

    A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

    Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems Management

    Brunel University, 2016

  • i

    ABSTRACT

    Past studies have talked about the impact of leadership or impact of culture on

    implementation of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. Implementation of

    CRM is considered as a change process and most authors agree that leadership and culture

    play an important role in change projects. However, past research does not look at the

    combined impact of leadership and culture on implementation of CRM and also, how

    leadership and culture affect each other. Leaders are argued to be the architects as well as the

    products of organisational culture and hence understanding of their relationship is critical to

    develop leadership approaches for the implementation of CRM in different contexts.

    This study aims to explore how CRM implementation is impacted by the organisational

    culture and leadership in Saudi Arabian organisations. Three companies, Company (A),

    Company (B) and Company (C) were used as case studies. Data as collected using semi

    structured interviews. This thesis finds that leadership plays a very critical role in

    implementation of CRM in Saudi Arabia especially because leadership has the capability to

    influence culture as well, especially in high power distance societies like Saudi Arabia.

    Findings from case study organisations indicate that leaders adopted transactional and

    autocratic leadership styles in implementation of CRM. These leadership styles have resulted

    in a number of problems in coordination, communication and implementation of CRM as

    well as low levels of interaction between top management and the employees working at the

    front end. This study finds that an autocratic leadership style negatively influences

    customers experience in customer-oriented industries. Moreover, organisational culture

    plays an important role in implementation of CRM system. It shapes how employees interact

    with each other and how they interact with their superiors and subordinates and guides

    employees about what to do and what not to do, including practices, values, and assumptions

    about their work. This study also found that organisational culture plays an important role in

    planning implementation and effectiveness of CRM systems in organisations. If there is a

    mismatch between organisational culture and an information system, it can lead to a number

    of problems such as delays in offering services to customers.

  • ii

    Dedication

    This thesis is lovingly dedicated to my mother, whose reverence for education, for her

    endless love, continuous support and prayers.

  • iii

    Acknowledgements

    I wish to thank God Almighty for all His kindness and blessings for that have allowed me to

    finish my work completely.

    I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation towards my supervisor,

    Dr Sarmad Alshawi as without his encouragement, guidance and criticism, this thesis would

    not have been possible - thank you for your patience, support and supervision, extended in

    every possible manner to refine my thoughts for this thesis. My sincere thanks also go to my

    second supervisor, Dr Tillal A Eldabi.

    I would like to thank everyone in the Department of Brunel Business School and all my

    colleagues in Brunel, for their encouragement and inspiration.

    My thanks also go to the greatest Mum, for her continuous support, advice, doaa; she is

    actually my motivator and my strength to finish my PhD. Also, thank you to my sibling,

    Mohammed and Mariam for their love, understanding, support, doaa to finish my PhD has

    been very valuable to me. Also my all relatives in Saudi Arabia, thank you for your doaa and

    continuous support.

    I would like to thank my close friends for all their support through thick and thin and for

    being critical and true friends. Also, to the Saudi Arabia Government and my sponsor King

    Abdullaziz University, thank you so much for your sponsorship and continuous support.

    Lastly but certainly not least, I would take this opportunity to pay special thanks to all the

    respondents for cooperating with me for making data collection an easy task.

  • iv

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................ 1

    1.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................................... 1

    1.1.1. Customer Relationship Management ............................................................................................ 2

    1.1.2 Organisational Culture and Leadership ......................................................................................... 4

    1.2 Research Problem .......................................................................................................................... 5

    1.3 Overview of Saudi Arabia............................................................................................................... 7

    1.4 Aim and objectives of the study ................................................................................................... 7

    1.5 Research Questions ........................................................................................................................ 8

    1.6 Research Significance ..................................................................................................................... 8

    1.7 Structure of the thesis ..................................................................................................................... 9

    CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ......................................................................................... 11

    2.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 11

    2.2 National and organisational cultures .................................................................................... 11

    2.2.1 Cultural Levels and Elements ........................................................................................................... 14

    2.2.2. National Cultural Differences........................................................................................................... 15

    2.3 Organisational Culture ................................................................................................................ 17

    2.4 Organisational Culture - Three Potential Approaches ..................................................... 20

    2.4.1. The Competing Values Framework ............................................................................................. 21

    2.4.2. The Three Levels of Culture Model ............................................................................................. 23

    2.4.3. The Four Conditions of Culture: Control, Demand, Effort, Reward ............................... 24

    2.5 Leadership ........................................................................................................................................ 26

    2.5.1. Leadership Definitions ..................................................................................................................... 26

    2.5.2 Transactional leadership .................................................................................................................. 30

    2.5.3 Transformational leadership .......................................................................................................... 31

    2.5.4. Impact on followers perception .................................................................................................. 34

    2.6 Organisational Culture and Leadership ................................................................................ 37

    2.7 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) ....................................................................... 41

    2.7.1. CRM and Organisational Culture ................................................................................................. 44

    2.7.2. CRM Implementation and factors affecting CRM ................................................................... 46

    2.8 Context of the Study ..................................................................................................................... 49

    2.9 Conceptual framework ............................................................................................................... 52

    2.9.1. Defining the Variables ........................................................................................................................... 52

  • v

    2.9.2. Organisational Culture .......................................................................................................................... 52

    2.9.3 Leadership Variable ............................................................................................................................... 55

    2.9.4 Implementation of CRM ..................................................................................................

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