Management of Key Account Relationships in SMEs : A Resource-Based View

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Akademin för ekonomi, teknik och naturvetenskap; Högskolan i Halmstad/Akademin för ekonomi, teknik och naturvetenskap

Abstract: Title: Management of Key Account Relationships in SMEs: A Resource-Based View Authors: David Gedda & Simon JohanssonLevel: Master thesis, 30 hpKeywords: Relationship Marketing, Key Account, Key Account Management,Customer Relationship Management, SME, High-performing firms Background: Management of firms most valuable customers, the key accounts,are of great importance for firms in general. This is in particulartrue for SMEs which battles with notably constrained resources.The situation of SMEs poses careful consideration in how tomanage these relationships successfully. Research Question: What characterizes high-performing SMEs in terms of how theymanage their key account relationships? Purpose: The purpose of this study is to develop a better understanding of what characterises high-performing SMEs in terms of how theymanage the relationships with their key accounts. Method: A qualitative study with an abductive approach using a multiplecasestudy design was adopted. Semi-structured interviews wereconducted to collect primary data on eight Swedish SMEs in theB2B-context. Theoretical Framework: Theories about the resource-based view and relational capabilitiesare presented followed by theories about relationship marketingand its subsets KAM and CRM. The last part of the theory consistsof theories on relationship quality. Findings: In general, high-performing SMEs tend to have a more structuredapproach towards their management of their key accountrelationships. This is mainly shown through four characteristics:Clear categorization of key accounts, Senior responsibility for keyaccounts, Deep integration with key accounts and Systematicprocess towards their key accounts.

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