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Key account management orientation and its implications : a conceptual and empirical examination

Gounaris, Spiros and Tzempelikos, Nektarios (2013) Key account management orientation and its implications : a conceptual and empirical examination. Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, 20 (1). pp. 33-50. ISSN 1547-0628

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to propose a conceptualization and empirical validation of Key Account Management Orientation (KAMO), a multidimensional construct integrating attitude- and behavior-related set of values toward key account management (KAM) and to explore potential influences on different aspects of KAM effectiveness. Design/Methodology/Approach: A series of in-depth interviews were conducted for the development of KAMO. Once this was achieved, the main quantitative study was conducted by collecting data from 304 suppliers from different sectors. Findings: Findings suggest that KAMO influences financial as well as nonfinancial performance. Findings also confirm the mediating role of relationship quality and relational capabilities in this relationship. Research Limitations/Implications: The dimensions that comprise KAMO may not be just antecedents but also consequences of an effective KAM program. Future longitudinal studies will allow deepening our understanding of the relationships between the variables. Practical Implications: Suppliers who adopt KAMO as part of their philosophy are likely to achieve superior business performance both financial and nonfinancial. Suppliers should shift from the traditional sales management approach toward KAM to a more relationship-oriented philosophy if they seek to enjoy full benefits from a KAM relationship. Originality/Value: This is the first study to provide a comprehensive and empirically valid measure of a supplier's KAMO. The study sets the management of KAM relationships within a broader relationship marketing framework.