Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1K017
Tied to N1KC17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) means active work to handle customer relationships on a large scale with long-term profitability and survival in mind (Gummeson 2002). To succeed an organisation must:
  • identify individual customers and establish how they can be reached;
  • differentiate customers by their values and needs;
  • interact with customers - establish a dialogue;
  • customise - treat every customer as an individual through personal contact or an automated process;
  • make the relationship a continuously learning relationship.
  • CRM is seen as a critical strategic issue by many public, not for profit and commercial organisations.
  • To introduce a framework for CRM that provides a critical insight into the strategic contribution of CRM and the organisational competencies required.
  • To provide participants with the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge and experience of specific practices that contribute to important CRM competencies.
  • To introduce participants to the contribution of Information Systems (IS) in succeeding with CRM and provide a foundation of knowledge for understanding how to exploit IT to create value from CRM.
  • The module takes a multidisciplinary approach bringing together insights from Marketing and IS perspectives.


  • Introduction to CRM.
  • Definitions of CRM.
  • The importance of CRM in different industry sectors and scenarios (for example retail, services, not for profit, public sector).
  • History of CRM and causes of failure.
  • The relationships involved in CRM.
  • CRM competences.
  • Customer Valuation.
  • Contact Management.
  • Customer Base Segmentation.
  • Campaign Management.
  • Personalisation of Service.
  • Response Management.
  • Retention Management.
  • Attrition Management.
  • Ethical and legal issues.
  • The contribution of IS to CRM - an architectural perspective.
  • Building the organisational capability to succeed with CRM.
  • Success factors.
  • Performance management.
  • Organisational change to develop the required competences.
  • Future trends affecting CRM (including IS).
  • The elective will build on core material from MICE and Managing Information.
  • The module will balance providing a strategic perspective on CRM and focusing on specific key topics to enable participants to build their ability to make a real contribution to the success of CRM in their future organisations.
  • It is our intention to make significant use of case studies and in particular to use hands-on IS case studies closely related to key practices for CRM. On this basis attendance at the elective would be restricted to 25 people to allow the group to make effective use of the IS facilities.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will be able to:
  • critically analyse the potential contribution of CRM to organisational performance;
  • explain the nature of customer information and the complex range of relationships between supplier, customer and other stakeholders involved in CRM;
  • recognise the complex issues involved in assessing organisational readiness for CRM;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will be able to:
  • use a range of specified practices that underpin organisational competencies for CRM;
  • debate the case for CRM as a long term organisational change programme and not a technology quick win and have a critical appreciation of major success/failure factors for CRM initiatives;
  • debate future trends in CRM including the impact of IS;
  • design a high level, benefit driven strategy for a CRM programme.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The written assignment will test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 28
Preparation and Reading 122
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Portfolio Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Portfolio of evidence plus reflective overview 4,000 words maximum 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University