Key Account Management


Key Account Management Effectiveness: Broadening the Scope of Analysis, Special issue of Industrial Marketing Management, Edited by Spiros Gounaris; Deadline 31 Mar 2013

Call for Papers

Industrial Marketing Management – Special Issue

Key Account Management Effectiveness: Broadening the Scope of Analysis

Submission Deadline March 31, 2013

With a tightening economic climate internationally, customers become more conscious than ever before to negotiate contracts that improve their competitive position and draw the maximum of value they can get from their suppliers. As a result, customers become more demanding and, consequently, suppliers are required to allocate scarce resources of money, time, know-how, service very carefully before they can meet the challenge of delivering to their customers solutions that enhance the customer’s competitiveness.

Faced with this challenge, suppliers need to prioritise and consider each customer as part of a greater customer-portfolio, which they need to manage to ensure the most efficient and effective use of their scant resources. In setting such priorities, the fit of each individual customer’s strategic objectives with the strategic objectives of the supplier as well as the degree of strategic alignment between the supplier and the customer are two key criteria suppliers can use. Through these two criteria suppliers can identify these customers that are of strategic importance to them and focus on developing and managing a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with such Key Accounts.

Given the significance of Key Account Management (KAM) for suppliers in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of resource allocation decision and in facilitating the fulfilment of their strategic objectives, a significant research subject to address is the investigation of the antecedents of KAM successful practice. Such antecedents may include intra-firm factors (e.g. culture, organisational structuring), inter-firm factors (e.g. intense of cooperation, forms of collaboration) and customer-related factors (e.g. purchasing orientation). Not surprisingly, the extant literature provides only scatter evidence since past research focuses on the level of the individual Key Account Manager and his/her relation with the customer. As a result, the investigation, and understanding, of the antecedents of effective KAM relationships at the firm level remain particularly slim.

This gap in the extant literature sets the grounds for this special issue, which aims to contribute by enriching the research agenda on KAM and offering a deeper understanding of the parameters suppliers need to manage to entrench their business relationships with Key Accounts at home and/or abroad.

Topics covered should provide answers, but not limited, to the following questions:

How the supplier can become more agile, efficient and effective in developing customised solutions to meet individual/unique requirements of the Key Account?

  1. What is the role of the supplier’s Top Management team in managing relationships with Key Accounts?
  2. Does the supplier’s system of core values and business orientation affect the quality of the relation with the Key Accounts?
  3. Are the required principles, skills and capabilities for effective KAM universal or are they subject to supplier-specific (strategic orientation, company size), market-specific (barriers to entry, technological turbulence) or customer-specific (purchasing orientation, geographical and/or cultural proximity) characteristics?
  4. How does the management of the relationship with a set of Key Accounts affect the supplier’s relation with customers of lower strategic importance?
  5. What benefits Key Accounts seek to secure in deciding to engage in a long-term relationship with a supplier?
  6. What are the qualities Key Accounts seek in a mutually beneficial relationship with a Key Supplier?
  7. Under what conditions Key Accounts are willing to terminate a relationship with a Key Supplier?
  8. What are the factors driving effective KAM when considering both the supplier’s and the customer’s perspective as a dyad?
  9. What is the definition of “relationship effectiveness” between a supplier and a key account as a dyad?
  10. What are the grounds, upon which suppliers and key accounts, as a dyad, can mutually identify strategic fit and alignment?

Please send your papers as a single MSWord file to Spiros Gounaris with a copy to the editor

All submissions must be original papers neither published nor under review for publication anywhere.

Processes for paper submission

Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or presently be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Submissions should be no more than 6,000 words in length. Copies should be submitted via email MS Word attachment (in one file including all figures and tables) to the guest editor Spiros Gounaris with a copy to the editor The first page must contain the title, author/s, and contact information for all author(s). For additional guidelines, see “Notes for Contributors” from a recent issue of Industrial Marketing Management, or visit the home page at the following address:

Articles not complying with the notes for contributors or poorly written will be desk rejected. Suitable articles will be subjected to a double-blind review; hence, authors must not identify themselves in the body of their paper. (Do not submit an MSWord file with “track changes” active nor a PDF file.)

Submission deadline is March 31, 2013.

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