Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 620–638 | Cite as

Global account management strategies: Drivers and outcomes

  • Linda Hui Shi
  • J Chris White
  • Shaoming Zou
  • S Tamer Cavusgil


Global account management (GAM) has become a vital part of many multinational enterprises’ global marketing. Yet little is known about successful GAM strategies. In this study, we conceptualize GAM strategies, and develop and empirically test an integrated theoretical model that links GAM strategies to their drivers and outcomes. We find that: (1) global strategic priority and globalization are significant drivers of four GAM strategies – inter-country coordination, inter-organizational coordination, marketing activities standardization, and global integration; (2) inter-country and inter-organizational coordination have significant main effects on GAM performance, while global customer demand positively moderates the effects of marketing activities standardization and global integration on GAM performance; and (3) GAM performance significantly influences relationship continuity. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications, and provide suggestions for future research.


global account management structural equation modeling global marketing strategy theory online survey 



The authors acknowledge the financial support of Penn State’s Institute for the Study of Business Markets, Teradata Center for Customer Relationship Management at Duke University, Michigan State University-CIBER, the Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA), and University of Victoria Business Research Fund.


  1. Allen, J. K., Ebrahim, S. S., & Kelly, G. C. 2006. Building a top consumer goods sales force. The McKinsey Quarterly: The McKinsey Quarterly Web Exclusive.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, K. R. 1971. The concept of corporate strategy. Homewook, IL: R.D. Irwin.Google Scholar
  3. Armstrong, J. S., & Overton, T. S. 1977. Estimating nonresponse bias in mail surveys. Journal of Marketing Research, 14 (3): 396–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arnold, D., Birkinshaw, J., & Toulan, O. 2001. Can selling be globalized? The pitfalls of global account management. California Management Review, 44 (1): 8–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bagozzi, R. P., & Warshaw, P. R. 1990. Trying to consume. Journal of Consumer Research, 17 (2): 127–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bartlett, C. A., & Ghoshal, S. 1988. Organizing for worldwide effectiveness: The transnational solution. California Management Review, 31 (1): 54–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Birkinshaw, J., Morrison, A. J., & Hulland, J. 1995. Structural and competitive determinants of a global integration strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 16 (8): 637–655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Birkinshaw, J., Toulan, O., & Arnold, D. 2001. Global account management in multinational corporations: Theory and evidence. Journal of International Business Studies, 32 (2): 231–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Buvik, A., & John, G. 2000. When does vertical coordination improve industrial purchasing relationships? Journal of Marketing, 64 (3): 52–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chin, W. W., Marcolin, B. L., & Newsted, P. R. 2003. A partial least squares latent variable modeling approach for measuring interaction effects: Results from a Monte Carlo simulation study and an electronic-mail emotion/adoption study. Information Systems Research, 14 (2): 189–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Craig, C. S., & Douglas, S. P. 2000. Configurational advantage in global markets. Journal of international Marketing, 8 (1): 6–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Drazin, R., & Van de Ven, A. H. 1985. Alternative forms of fit in contingency theory. Administrative Science Quarterly, 30 (4): 514–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. 1981. Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18 (1): 39–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ganesan, S. 1994. Determinants of long-term orientation in buyer–seller relationships. Journal of Marketing, 58 (2): 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hallen, L., Johanson, J., & Seyed-Mohamed, N. 1991. Interfirm adaptation in business relationships. Journal of Marketing, 55 (2): 29–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harzing, A. W. 1997. Response rates in international mail surveys: Results of a 22-country study. International Business Review, 6 (6): 641–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Heide, J. B. 1994. Interorganizational governance in marketing channels. Journal of Marketing, 58 (1): 71–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Heide, J. B., & John, G. 1990. Alliances in industrial purchasing: The determinants of joint action in buyer–supplier relationships. Journal of Marketing Research, 27 (1): 24–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Homburg, C., Workman Jr., J. P., & Jensen, O. 2000. Fundamental changes in marketing organization: The movement toward a customer-focused organizational structure. Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, 28 (4): 459–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Homburg, C., Workman Jr., J. P., & Jensen, O. 2002. A configurational perspective on key account management. Journal of Marketing, 66 (2): 38–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hout, T., Porter, M., & Rudden, E. 1982. How global companies win out. Harvard Business Review, 60 (5): 98–105.Google Scholar
  22. Hulland, J. 1999. Use of partial least squares (PLS) in strategic management research: A review of four recent studies. Strategic Management Journal, 20 (2): 195–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ivens, B. S., & Pardo, C. 2007. Are key account relationships different? Empirical results on supplier strategies and customer reactions. Industrial Marketing Management, 36 (4): 470–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jain, S. C. 1989. Standardization of international marketing strategy: Some research hypotheses. Journal of Marketing, 53 (1): 70–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Katsikeas, C. S., Samiee, S., & Theodosiou, M. 2006. Strategy fit and performance consequences of international marketing standardization. Strategic Management Journal, 27 (9): 867–890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Koerner, L. 2004. Executive leadership in transforming account management practices to align with emerging market trends. Velocity, 1 (6): 40–43.Google Scholar
  27. Mathias, P. F., & Capon, N. 2003. Managing strategic customer relationships as assets: Developing customer relationship capital, Working Paper, Columbia Business School, New York.Google Scholar
  28. McDonald, M., Millman, T., & Rogers, B. 1997. Key account management: Theory, practice and challenges. Journal of Marketing Management, 13 (8): 737–757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Menon, A., Jaworski, B. J., & Kohli, A. 1997. Product quality: Impact of interdepartmental interactions. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 25 (3): 187–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Montgomery, D. B., & Yip, G. S. 2000. The challenge of global customer management. Marketing Management, 9 (4): 22–29.Google Scholar
  31. Montgomery, D. B., Yip, G. S., & Villalonga, B. 1999. Demand for and use of global account management, Working Paper, Marketing Science Institute, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  32. Moon, M. A., & Gupta, S. F. 1997. Examining the formation of selling centers: A conceptual framework. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 17 (2): 17–41.Google Scholar
  33. Morgan, R. A., & Hunt, S. D. 1994. The commitment trust theory of relationship marketing. Journal of Marketing, 58 (3): 20–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Noordewier, T., John, G., & Nevin, J. R. 1990. Performance outcomes of purchasing arrangements in industrial buyer–vendor relationships. Journal of Marketing, 54 (4): 80–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Palmatier, R. W., Dant, R. P., Grewal, D., & Evans, K. R. 2006. Factors influencing the effectiveness of relationship marketing: A meta-analysis. Journal of Marketing, 70 (4): 136–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Podsakoff, P. M., & Organ, D. W. 1986. Self-reports in organizational research: Problems and prospects. Journal of Management, 12 (4): 531–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Porter, M. 1980. Competitive strategies. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  38. Porter, M. 1986. Competition in global industries: A conceptual framework. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  39. Riemann, I., & Lapierre, M. 2003. Marriott's globalization of strategic account management. Velocity, 1 (5): 39–42.Google Scholar
  40. Ringle, C., Wende, S., & Will, A. 2005. SMART_PLS Version 2.0 M3,
  41. Roth, K., & Morrison, A. J. 1990. An empirical analysis of the integration responsiveness framework in global industries. Journal of International Business Studies, 21 (4): 541–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Samiee, S., & Roth, K. 1992. The influence of global marketing standardization on performance. Journal of Marketing, 56 (2): 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shi, L. H., Zou, S., & Cavusgil, S. T. 2004. A conceptual framework of global account management capabilities and firm performances. International Business Review, 13 (5): 539–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shi, L. H., White, J. C., McNally, R. C., Cavusgil, S. T., & Zou, S. 2005. Global account management capability: Insights from leading suppliers. Journal of International Marketing, 13 (2): 93–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Toulan, O., Birkinshaw, J., & Arnold, D. 2002. The role of inter-organizational fit in global account management, Working Paper, London Business School.Google Scholar
  46. Venkatraman, N. 1989. The concept of fit in strategy research: Toward verbal and statistical correspondence. Academy of Management Review, 14 (3): 423–444.Google Scholar
  47. White, J. C., Varadarajan, P. R., & Dacin, P. A. 2003. Market situation and response: The role of cognitive style, organizational culture, and information use. Journal of Marketing, 67 (3): 63–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Workman, J. P., Homburg, C., & Jensen, O. 2003. Intraorganizational determinants of key account management effectiveness. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 31 (1): 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Yip, G. S. 1995. Total global strategy: Managing for worldwide competitive advantage. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  50. Yip, G. S., & Bink, A. J. M. 2007. Managing global accounts. Harvard Business Review, 85 (9): 102–111.Google Scholar
  51. Yip, G. S., & Madsen, T. L. 1996. Global account management: The new frontier in relationship marketing. International Marketing Review, 13 (3): 24–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Zaltman, G., Duncan, R., & Holbek, J. 1973. Innovations and organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  53. Zou, S., & Cavusgil, S. T. 1996. Global strategy: A review and an integrated conceptual framework. European Journal of Marketing, 30 (1): 52–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zou, S., & Cavusgil, S. T. 2002. The GMS: A broad conceptualization of global marketing strategy and its effect on firm performance. Journal of Marketing, 66 (4): 40–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Hui Shi
    • 1
  • J Chris White
    • 2
  • Shaoming Zou
    • 3
  • S Tamer Cavusgil
    • 4
  1. 1.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.Texas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  3. 3.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations