Which resources and capabilities underpin strategic key account management?

Rodrigo Guesalaga, Mika Gabrielsson, Beth Rogers, Lynette Ryals, Javier Marcos Cuevas

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    Key account management (KAM) supports the profitability and financial sustainability of firms in business-to-business markets. It also attracts considerable academic research. However, KAM research remains largely atheoretical and lacking in conceptual foundations. This paper argues for an organizational-level, resource-based view of KAM. Using a systematic approach, the authors review the KAM literature to identify the critical resources and capabilities that underpin strategic KAM. The analysis synthesizes and integrates previous research on KAM applying a resource-based lens to reveal that strategic KAM comprises complex portfolios of resources and capabilities that constitute a source of competitive advantage. The authors discuss the theoretical and practical implications of this unique view of KAM and identify directions for further research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages13
    JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
    Early online date25 May 2018
    Publication statusEarly online - 25 May 2018


    • Key account management
    • Strategic account management
    • Resource-based theory


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