Which resources and capabilities underpin strategic key account management?

Rodrigo Guesalaga, Mika Gabrielsson*, Beth Rogers, Lynette Ryals, Javier Marcos Cuevas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Key account management (KAM) supports the profitability and financial sustainability of firms in business-to-business markets. It also attracts considerable academic research. However, KAM research remains largely atheoretical and lacking in conceptual foundations. This paper argues for an organizational-level, resource-based view of KAM. Using a systematic approach, the authors review the KAM literature to identify the critical resources and capabilities that underpin strategic KAM. The analysis synthesizes and integrates previous research on KAM applying a resource-based lens to reveal that strategic KAM comprises complex portfolios of resources and capabilities that constitute a source of competitive advantage. The authors discuss the theoretical and practical implications of this unique view of KAM and identify directions for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
Pages (from-to)160-172
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Key account management
  • Resource-based theory
  • Strategic account management


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