To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The role of customer orientation in key account managers’ performance: a client network perspective

Yi Liu (Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Xue Li (Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China and Guotai Junan Securities Co Ltd, Shanghai, China)
Maggie Chuoyan Dong (Department of Marketing, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong and School of Marketing, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 16 July 2019

Issue publication date: 7 October 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate how does key accounts managers’ (KAMs’) customer orientation affect customers’ repurchase intention and how do tie strength and structural holes in KAMs’ client networks moderate these linkages.

Design/methodology/approach

Paired data of 208 dyadic relationships between KAMs and customers in several Chinese industries are subjected to multiple linear regression analyses.

Findings

KAMs’ functional customer orientation can directly increase customers’ repurchase intention, whereas relational customer orientation cannot do that. With strong ties in client networks, KAMs’ relational customer orientation could promote customers’ repurchase intention, whereas when there are many structural holes in a client network, relational customer orientation would constrain customers’ repurchase intention. In addition, structural holes can enhance the effectiveness of functional customer orientation in facilitating customers’ repurchase intention, but tie strength has no impact on this.

Originality/value

This study pays attention to the emerging topic of KAMs’ customer orientation and introduces KAMs’ client networks as a new contextual factor. The findings not only address the outcomes of KAM’s customer orientation but also indicate the vital role client networks play in determining the effectiveness of KAMs’ customer orientation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the editor and anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions. The research is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (71572109, 71832008, 71802174), and the General Research Fund from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (Project CityU 11506518).

Citation

Liu, Y., Li, X. and Dong, M.C. (2019), "The role of customer orientation in key account managers’ performance: a client network perspective", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 7, pp. 1592-1605. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-09-2017-0229

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited