Top managers’ role in key account management

Pereira, Giancarlo and Tzempelikos, Nektarios and Trento, Luiz and Trento, Carlos and Borchardt, Miriam and Viegas, Claudia (2019) Top managers’ role in key account management. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 34 (5). pp. 977-993. ISSN 0885-8624

Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (339kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Purpose – This paper explores top managers’ role in key account management. Design/methodology/approach – The possible actions that could be performed by a top manager were investigated in twelve case studies. These actions were grouped into key account managers and teams, culture, engagement and knowledge, organizational structure/conditions, and customers and markets. Findings – Top managers (TMs) informally evaluate teams and key account (KA) managers, stimulate a culture that favours the information's prospection, persuade managers in order to reduce their resistance, and improve organizational structure/conditions by inducing internal and external questioning. They also contact key customers' top managers to check on the changes required or to persuade them to change requirements, accept a higher price or redirect an unattractive order to competitors. They approve revisions on the key customers list, discuss with the key account manager how to redirect an unattractive opportunity to competitors, and try to improve gains even in attractive orders. Research limitations/implications – Additional research beyond the provided exploratory study is needed to generalize the results. The findings contribute to improving the understanding of how TMs get involved in key account management, buyer-supplier relationship improvement, and increasing company profitability. They also unveil top managers' role in internal culture creation and team engagement. Originality/value – When managing their KAs TMs seem to be sceptical, curious and pragmatic with their subordinates, as well as with the customers or competitors.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Key Accounts, Top Managers, Management, Value Added, Customer Relations, Marketing
Faculty: Faculty of Business & Law
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2019 10:29
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:55

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item