University of Oulu

Creating customer knowledge competence through the development of key account management

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Author: Mikkola, Tuuli1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Marketing, Marketing
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Pages: 95
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : T. Mikkola, 2013
Publish Date: 2013-05-23
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Palo, Teea
Nätti, Satu
Reviewer: Palo, Teea
Nätti, Satu
This study takes intraorganizational perspective to key account management (KAM) and combines the matter with customer knowledge processing. The aim of the study is to create a framework that enables the creation of customer knowledge competence by developing key account management system so that it facilitates internal coordination and enhances customer knowledge processing. The framework of this study is based on an extensive theoretic review on key account management and customer knowledge management. The combination of these topics creates scientific findings of this study. The framework created in this study is reflected to practice through a case company that needs re-organization of its key account management processes. This study utilizes subjectivist approach to the matter and uses constructivist research methods. Besides accumulating theoretical knowledge this study aims also in developing through theory the KAM processes of the case company. Thus it relates also closely to action research, where the researcher takes also a role as a consultant besides the role of a researcher. The empiric evidence is reflected to the theoretical framework. However as studies concerning this matter are limited the aim is through qualitative methods to produce new knowledge and not to test existing theory. Empirically this study is based on an exploratory case study that has some features of descriptive study also. The empiric research confirms the theoretical framework from most parts. Results of this thesis suggest that key account management system can be utilized as a coordination mechanism in order to create customer knowledge competence. However compared to previous studies the results of this study accentuate esprit de corps i.e. organizations capacity to work toward mutual goals as an antecedent of other key account management processes and reinforces the role of formalization of the key account management approach as an prerequisite for efficient customer knowledge processing. Based on the finding of this study, future studies could concentrate on determining the level of formalization needed for succeeding in the creation of customer knowledge competence. It also suggests that the role of esprit de corps is more important. Thus the development of this would also be valuable in the future.
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