Browsing Business and management by Department
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Environmental factors influencing the management of key accounts in an Arab Middle Eastern contextWithin the sales and marketing literature, it is recognised that a range of external factors can influence how companies in the business-to-business field manage business relationships within national and across international borders. However, there have been very few studies that explore the influence of the external environment on key account relationships, especially within the context of emerging economies. This study draws on the network approach and contingency theory to identify and highlight the influence of external environmental factors on the management of inter-organisational relationships with key customers in emerging economies in the Arab Middle East region. It is based on an extensive qualitative enquiry that utilises 50 in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted in Jordan with endogenous and Western firms. It concludes that key account practices within an Arab context are shaped by a number of contingencies that are embedded in broader institutional contexts and the business environment, which may challenge the adoption of company-wide universal key account management policies across borders. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Relational resources for emerging markets’ non-technological innovation: insights from China and TaiwanPurpose: This paper aims to highlight the importance of relational resources (trust and relationship effectiveness). The authors investigate how the Chinese guanxi is utilized to create and develop service exploitation and exploration activities for adopting non-technological innovations. Design/methodology/approach: This study surveyed 252 Chinese and Taiwanese firms. The results were analyzed through structural equation model. Findings: Relational antecedents of collaborative communication and constructive conflict positively relate to trust, as well as to relationship effectiveness. Constructive conflict positively relates to exploration and exploitation. Relationship effectiveness and trust mediate two relational antecedents to exploitation. Relationship effectiveness crucially mediates two relational antecedents to exploration. Research limitations/implications: Dyadic data would be more desirable to study firm interactions. Practical implications: Chinese society perceives conflict as being detrimental to relationships. Constructive conflict enhances inter-firm trust and relationship effectiveness. Relationship effectiveness, which motivates suppliers to mobilize their guanxi network, mediates the supplier–customer interaction in broadening relationships to produce new services, as well as reinforcing networks to strengthen existing ventures. Originality/value: This study contributes to a relatively under-explored relationship effectiveness area. Chinese suppliers capitalize their guanxi networks to achieve competitive advantages in non-technological innovation.
The role of senior executives in managing key customers in Arab contextPurpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of senior managers in managing intra-and inter-organizational relationships with key customers and the factors that influence such involvement in a novel context in the Arab Middle East region. Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory qualitative research design was used in which 68 face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted in Jordan with endogenous and Western firms. Findings: Top/senior managers play a significant role in Arab business relationships and in creating value for the firms. Their involvement in key accounts is imperative at all levels – strategic, operational, and relational – mainly due to cultural and institutional factors that are unique to the Arab context. Research limitations/implications: The study is limited to operations in one emerging country situated in a novel setting in one particular region of the world, which is the Middle East. Practical implications: Arab senior managers’ participation is imperative and should continue with their relatively intense involvement with key accounts. For foreign investors operating in that part of the world, it is highly recommended that senior management have a more a hands-on approach when dealing with the Arab key customer and to focus more on the relational aspect of key account management than on the organizational aspect. Originality/value: This paper adds to the very limited number of studies on senior management involvement in key account management, making a theoretical and practical contribution and adding insight on how to manage the relationship with the Arab key customer.