A dyadic trust perspective of key account relationship development in the UK mortgage industry
Murray, Sharon Lee
- Publisher: Northumbria University
The main purpose of this study is to examine how a dyadic trust perspective can support effective development of key account relationships. The need for Key Account Management in the UK Mortgage Industry is investigated, factors for effective key account relationship management are identified and a trust/Mortgage Lender and Intermediary perspective of Key Account relationship effectiveness is analysed. The results of this study have been achieved through a mixed methods research strategy and these have been discussed in relation to Key Account Management and Trust theory. This study responds to concerns about the lack of research in this area, challenging and building on existing Key Account Management theory, integrating trust theory and applying this to a new context. A survey instrument to assess the effectiveness of Key Account relationships has been devised and can be applied to different contexts. Results show that demonstrations of trustworthiness leads to better key account performance but there is not a strong association of perceptions of higher trust with performance. Mortgage Lenders and Intermediaries have different perspectives of key account effectiveness and Mortgage Lenders lead the way in Key Account Management initiatives but there is evidence of various degrees of interdependence and willingness to achieve mutual gains. Key account relationships are not locked in to integrated Key Account Management programmes and exit from these relationships is quite easy. An important aspect of this research in the context of the UK Mortgage Industry has been the perceived positive role of the Key Account individual and that of different types of trust throughout relationship development, compensating for the perceived negative role of organisational culture aspects that may influence those involved in key account development within and between organisations. The contribution of this research is to show the relevance of Key Account Management as a business model providing market conditions are appropriate for Key Account Management development and that it is based on mutual learning and a format that suits the orientation of supplier and buyer, their own organisational design and culture and resources available as well as the environment in which they operate. This research suggests that fully integrated Key Account Management is not a realistic expectation and dependence on a few suppliers or customers as Key Account Management theory suggests, is not sensible. This study contributes to KAM practice in that it shows it is the management of trustworthiness rather than trying to manage trust that leads to a satisfactory Key Account relationship format for both supplier and buyer in the UK Mortgage Industry. This does currently rely heavily on the `intrapreneurial' skills of key individuals. In understanding how trustworthiness is demonstrated (through concern and benevolence, expertise, communication, intrapreneurial skills, commitment, organisational culture and KAM organisation) leads to more appropriate actions and behaviours to facilitate a relationship that works best for particular seller and buyer organisations given the particular circumstances. Organisations need to work on improving trust that is placed in the institution by for example developing effective marketing communications effort internally as well as externally and knowledge based trust, relating in particular to the exchange of confidential and strategic information. The identified factors for key account effectiveness presented in the survey can serve as useful guidelines for managing key accounts as they also demonstrate signals of trustworthiness. These factors can be used specifically to add to the limited range of performance criteria of key accounts currently adopted by the industry. Further research is suggested that may consider a key account manager or client's disposition towards trust, an examination of perceptions of supply chain t...
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