Communication de conférence

Perceived value of key account relationships : an emerging theory-in-use

in IMP 2009 : The 25th IMP conference : "Handling plurality of relationship forms in networks: from clans to clubs, from cliques to communities: Theoretical and managerial perspectives". Marseille, September 3-5, 2009

par HENNEBERG, Stephan ; Pardo, Catherine (19..-....) ; Naudé, Peter ; MOUZAS, Stefanos ; ZOLKIEWSKI, Judy

2009 - 26 P. - En anglais


Key Account Management (KAM) has become an important aspect of building relationships with important business partners. It is often posited that KAM provides superior value to both seller and the buyer. However, while the research literature has intensified its theoretical and empirical scrutiny of the KAM phenomenon, the perceptions of the companies involved and specifically those of Key Account Managers with regard to what and how KAM value is created are under-researched. This article therefore focuses on understanding what kind of value considerations guide Key Account Managers as they develop their ‘theories-in-use’, i.e. the cognitive principles and beliefs which guide their sense-making. We use qualitative content analysis of 130 practitioner articles and presentations to understand the themes related by key account managers to question of KAM value. Our findings indicate that a majority of practitioners are concerned with internal (proprietary) value of KAM (i.e. KAM value for the seller), while only a minority links KAM to external (exchange) value (i.e. KAM value for the buyer). Juxtaposing these ‘theories-in-use’ with existing literature on KAM, this article provides evidence that managers often have only a vague idea about the mechanisms how and why KAM provides value, either to their own company or to their exchange partner.

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