Key account management (KAM) has played an important role in business, and this study reviews key account management research using bibliometric techniques. This review includes 373 KAM relevant articles published in 68 journals between 1979 and 2016. In our analysis, we extend the discussion on KAM literature by highlighting areas such as the roles of technology and conflict as well as relationship planning and implementation. We discuss the value of co-creation, inter-organizational design elements, and dyad-level performance measures. We examine five distinctive time-periods and find that KAM relevant literature has progressed 1) from selling and relationship-building approaches to key network management, 2) from network innovation to governance, 3) from network-level performance to co-creation of business solutions and values, 4) from product and service performance to incorporating sustainability. Finally, we present the fifth transition based on a network-view of KAM and identify future research aimed at integrating areas such as network-based orientation, applications of organizational theories, organizational innovativeness, network competence for optimal structure and processes, network-based KAM teams, value-sharing mechanisms, co-created value measurement, and value sustenance within networks. We identify areas of future research and expect the adoption and application of key account management concepts to grow across multiple disciplinary fields.
- Document co-citation analysis
- Key account management
- Network view
- Trends and directions for future research
ASJC Scopus subject areas