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

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

10 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1592-1605
Journal / PublicationJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number7
Online published5 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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.

Research Area(s)

  • Client network, Customer orientation, Key account manager, Repurchase intention