Sustainability and CRM


Special issue of the journal Sustainability; Deadline 28 Feb 2021

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Samuel Li

Sustainability (IF: 2.592, ISSN 2071-1050) is currently running a Special Issue “Sustainability and Customer Relationship Management” which is guest edited by Prof. Bang Nguyen of Emlyon Business School.

The authoritative version of this call is located here:

The manuscript delivery deadline is 28/02/2021.

Special Issue Editor
Prof. Bang Nguyen Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to collecting, analyzing, and using customer data to manage an organization’s interaction with current and potential customers (e.g., Lim et al., 2019; Nguyen et al., 2020). A key CRM capability lies in monitoring customer concerns in order to understand and influence the customers’ mind-sets and behaviors (Boulding et al., 2005). As customer concerns increase about sustainability issues, i.e., scarcity of natural resources, environmental degradation, and social inequalities (Müller, 2014), customer-centric organizations have started to redefine CRM to focus more on sustainability by balancing profitability with environmental and social responsibility (Bansal, 2005).

For example, Müller (2014) discusses the idea of sustainability-oriented CRM as integrating the economic, environmental, and social sustainability issues in the core areas of CRM by providing the fundamental values and strategy issues that are rarely addressed within CRM (Nguyen and Mutum, 2012). Ruhwinkel and Wilde (2011) suggest that integrating sustainability issues in CRM leads to differentiation from competitors and helps to ensure the continuity of business operations, as the ecological and societal limits are considered. It is clear that the link between sustainability and CRM is highly beneficial for both organizations and customers alike and thus requires more research.

However, to date, the sustainability–CRM link has been researched very little. Few studies have provided an integrated perspective on the underlying mechanisms that shape CRM activities focusing on sustainability (Müller, 2014). Further, research dealing with the comprehensive concept of sustainability-oriented CRM is limited (Ruhwinkel and Wilde, 2011). More research is needed to show how CRM, customers, and sustainability interact.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to provide the latest and most innovative contributions concerning sustainability and CRM solutions with the objective of enhancing customer–firm relationships, providing improved sustainable CRM capabilities. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Ecological and social issues when establishing and maintaining long-term profitable customer relations;
  • Improving efficient and effective operational CRM processes via sustainability;
  • Antecedents and consequences of sustainability-oriented CRM;
  • Corporate sustainability issues aimed at attracting and retaining sustainability-conscious customers;
  • Ethical CRM and sustainability: privacy, security and identification;
  • Impact of sustainability on the CRM sales function;
  • Sustainability and customer-centric solutions to define the CRM relationship building process;
  • Innovative and sustainable CRM solutions for social marketing;
  • CRM intelligence systems based on connected devices and systems and sustainability concepts;
  • Links between sustainability and AI, IoT, smart things, and real world data management;
  • Sustainability and the dark side of CRM;
  • Design, development and practical uses of sustainability in CRM;
  • The resulting challenges in creating sustainability in CRM.

This Special Issue will focus on strong theoretical, methodological, and managerial aspects of sustainability and CRM, thereby giving it a long-term vision for the sustainability–CRM link. Without limiting the scope of the papers to be submitted, we encourage original empirical, behavioral, analytical, or managerial work.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • CRM
  • Sustainability
  • Customer relations
  • Sustainability-conscious customers
  • Sustainability-oriented CRM
  • Data management
  • Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.