Investigating the situated culture of multi-channel customer management: A case study in Egypt

Maged Ali, Ali Tarhini, Laurence Brooks, Muhammad Mustafa Kamal

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    9 Citations (Scopus)
    62 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper investigates the influence of national culture on customers' behavior and customers' choice of channel through the customer life cycle stages. An exploratory in-depth single case study in a multinational organization in Egypt was conducted. Specifically, 31 in-depth interviews were conducted with members of staff in marketing, IT, retail and customer services departments, and external prospects/customers. Based on an interpretive approach, the authors have articulated a situated cultural approach based on structuration theory to identify the cultural dimensions that have provided an understanding of the cultural influence on customers' channel choice. The results highlighted that verbal, human interaction, traditional shopping, and cash based were the themes for customers' channel choice through the four stages of customer life cycle. The results also show that the customers' channel choices were linked to the following Egyptian cultural dimensions: Collectivism, market price relationship, emotional, power distance, low trust, uncertainty avoidance, and universalism.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)46-74
    Number of pages29
    JournalJournal of Global Information Management
    Issue number3
    Early online date16 Apr 2021
    Publication statusPublished - May 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 IGI Global. All rights reserved.

    Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


    Funding Information:
    Muhammad Mustafa Kamal is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management, Subject Lead for Operations Management (including Supply Chain Management, Business Analytics, Project Management and e-Business) and Director of the Transnational Research Degree (TNRD) Programme at the School of Strategy and Leadership. Dr Kamal is a Senior Fellow of HEA and a Certified Management and Business Educator (CMBE). Prior to joining Coventry University, he was a Senior Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain Management, Director of UG Programmes and Director of Alumni at the Brunel Business School, Brunel University London. He earned his Doctorate in Information Systems from the School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics, Brunel University London. His current research interests include Operations and SCM, Circular Economy, Industry 4.0, Information Systems and Technology Management, Technology and SCM, Social Media, Big Data and Business Analytics, and Supply Chain Integration. He has published over 70 papers in refereed academic journals, conference proceedings, book chapters, and magazine article. His research work has appeared in several leading ABS ranked journals, such as International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Business Research, Information and Management, Production, Planning and Control, Expert Systems with Applications, Government Information Quarterly, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, and Journal of the Operational Research Society, International Journal of Information Management, and Information Systems Management. He has also presented his research papers at globally esteemed conferences such as British Academy of Management Conference (BAM), European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), and Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). He has also chaired conferences and tracks at leading conferences including AMCIS, ECIS and HICSS. He has worked on several internal and external research grant (including EU Framework 7, Horizon 2020, Qatar National Research Foundation). Currently, he is the Deputy Editor for the Journal of Enterprise Information Management (JEIM), Senior Editor for Information Systems Management and on editorial board for Government Information Quarterly. For more information about Dr Kamal, please visit the following:

    Funding Information:
    Maged Ali is a senior lecturer of Digital Marketing at Essex Business School, University of Essex (UK). Dr Ali has achieved a multi-disciplinary research background in Marketing and Information Systems. He has been a visiting lecturer at several universities in the UK and abroad (Egypt, Qatar, France, KSA, Malaysia, Vietnam, Czech). He is a business consultant and has developed training programmes for several companies in the UK and abroad (Egypt, Qatar, China, KSA, Singapore, UAE). Dr Ali is a member of editorial committee of several journals, as well as co-and-mini-track chair of many international conferences. He has edited special issues for variety of peer reviewed journals, and publishes his scholarly work in well-established journals (Journal of Business Research, Journal of Technology and People, Journal of Computer and Human Behaviour, Journal of Marketing Management, among others) and conferences (AMCIS, ECIS, AM, EMAC among others). Dr Ali has secured many research funds with UKIERI in India (£50K) to develop Graduate Employability Programme and building SMEs Managerial Capacity. Also, Dr Ali has secured a research grant (£153K) with Newton Funds from British Council Kazakhstan to develop multidimensional environment-health risk/data analysis system using big data technologies. Dr Ali has secured a research funds (£5.1M) from European Regional Development Fund to develop SMEs in South East of England region. Dr Ali has also conducted various consultancy projects with Barclays bank (Shopping Tribes, £8K) and with Essex County Council (Systems Leadership in Public Sector, £10K and Social media for Resilience Communities, £10K). He is the corresponding author for this paper.


    • Case Study
    • Channel Management
    • CRM
    • Customer Channel Choice
    • Customer Lifecycle
    • Egypt
    • National Culture
    • Situated Culture
    • Structuration Theory

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Strategy and Management
    • Management Science and Operations Research
    • Information Systems and Management


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