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