Study unveils components of successful key account management

Dynamic capabilities play a key role in successful key account management, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland, Cranfield University and the University of Portsmouth. The study found that in key account management, companies should invest in market sensing, opportunity creation, continuous improvement of processes and value propositions, as well as capabilities for radical change. The findings were reported in Industrial Marketing Management.

The study developed a framework for key account management, identifying the resources and capabilities needed by companies to gain sustained competitive advantages and profitability.

“We feel that it is vital for companies to develop their key account management schemes, staff and processes with dynamic capabilities in mind, as this can make them stand out from competition and create sustained profitability,” says Professor of International Business Mika Gabrielsson from the University of Eastern Finland, one of the study authors.

The study focused on key account management, which is a key aspect of sales management, and a facilitator of increased business profitability. An extensive literature review combined with the authors’ consultancy experience served as the foundation for identifying the resources and capabilities that play a key role when striving for sustained competitive advantages and profitability. The study paves way for a new line of research, as the resource-based theory has not been applied to key account management before.

For further information, please contact: Professor Mika Gabrielsson, tel. +358 50 568 7626, email: mika.gabrielsson(at)uef.fi

Research article:

Which resources and capabilities underpin strategic key account management? Rodrigo Guesalaga, Mika Gabrielsson, Beth Rogers, Lynette Ryals, Javier Marcos Cuevas. Industrial Marketing Management. Vol. 71 (2018). DOI 10.1016/j.indmarman.2018.05.006. The article is available online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019850118303614

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The University of Eastern Finland, UEF, is one of the largest universities in Finland. The activities of the UEF underscore multidisciplinarity, and the university is especially strong in research related to forests and the environment, health and well-being, and new technologies and materials. The UEF offers teaching in more than 100 major subjects. In addition to the high standard of teaching, the university offers its students a modern study environment, which is under constant development. The university comprises four faculties: the Philosophical Faculty, the Faculty of Science and Forestry, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies. The university’s campuses are located in the heart of beautiful eastern Finland in Joensuu, Kuopio and Savonlinna. The UEF is home to approximately 15 000 students and nearly 2 800 members of staff.

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