Key Account Management – A Review

  •  Han Wong    
  •  Ai Thoo    
  •  Abu Abdul Hamid    


Many companies attempt to obtain competitive advantage and achieve sustability in their business byestablishing strategic alliances with their customers. One of the most significant types of strategic alliance is KeyAccount Management (KAM). KAM is a systematic supplier initiated programme for managing strategicallyimportant customers in business-to-business (B2B) markets. However, the relationship-oriented perspective ofKAM has limited empirical examination, and most of the studies were mainly conducted in developed countriessuch as United States of America, Europe, East Asia, Africa, and Oceania. The aim of this paper is to reviewKAM literature since 1950s, and to identify its drivers and research challenges. The review found that KAM isevolved from Relationship Marketing (RM) and it involves the adoption of collaborative ways of managing keyaccount relationships as compared to traditional transactional practices to achieve an effective KAM relationship.The paper concludes that implementation of KAM could enhance performance of suppliers.

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