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Handbook of Strategic Account Management: A Comprehensive Resource by Diana Woodburn, Kevin Wilson

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Global customer team design: dimensions, determinants and performance outcomes

by Yana Atanasova and Christoph Senn

Abstract

Designing and implementing global customer teams (GCTs) represents a key task for suppliers that are expanding the scope of their customer relationships. However, research has not provided an explanation of how these teams function and what determines their performance. Using an interdisciplinary combination of concepts from customer management and organizational behaviour research streams, we develop an integrative framework of GCT design and performance. The framework is conceptualized with qualitative interview data and validated with survey data from 273 members of 113 GCTs in six multi-national companies. Our results indicate that team performance is influenced directly by three team processes: communication and collaboration, conflict management and proactiveness. Team design in terms of goal and role definition, customer coverage, empowerment, heterogeneity, skills adequacy and leadership indirectly influences performance, mediated by team processes. In addition, three factors of the organizational environment – top-management support, rewards and incentives, and training – have similar indirect effects.

Introduction

Driven by the search for both new business opportunities and competitive advantages, companies in business-to-business markets increasingly have moved away from transactional forms of exchange (Dyer 1997) to look for closer, more collaborative ...

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