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Customer Knowledge Management in SMEs Facing Digital Transformation

Francesco Castagna (), Piera Centobelli (), Roberto Cerchione (), Emilio Esposito (), Eugenio Oropallo () and Renato Passaro ()
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Francesco Castagna: Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, P.le Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
Piera Centobelli: Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, P.le Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
Roberto Cerchione: Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, Centro Direzionale di Napoli, Isola C4, 80143 Naples, Italy
Emilio Esposito: Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, P.le Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
Eugenio Oropallo: Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, P.le Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
Renato Passaro: Department of Engineering, University of Naples Parthenope, Centro Direzionale di Napoli, Isola C4, 80143 Naples, Italy

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 9, 1-16

Abstract: This paper provided a novel definition of customer knowledge management (CKM) as the logical intersection of customer relationship management (CRM) and knowledge management (KM). The main aim was to investigate the digital technologies supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in creative industries in their customer knowledge management strategies. To achieve this aim, a survey involving 73 handicraft and/or retail SMEs operating in luxury jewelry industry was conducted. The survey results pointed out that in a few years the scenario has changed and that surveyed SMEs make more intensive use of traditional technologies supporting customer knowledge management processes rather than more innovative digital technologies, which are also cheap and easy to use. This finding showed the difficulties of SMEs operating in creative industries to be responsive to the rapid technological changes that are affecting CKM, as well as the lack of support from information technology vendors in the decision-making process for choosing adequate digital systems.

Keywords: creative industry; customer knowledge management (CKM); customer knowledge management systems (CKMSs); customer relationship management (CRM); digitalization; digital technologies; small business; survey (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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