Although China is the epicenter of global sourcing and has a vastly different context than the West, almost no key account management (KAM) studies have taken the perspective of Chinese suppliers. Our exploratory multiple-method study uses data gathered from a major Chinese apparel supplier and two of their Western key accounts (KAs). Patterns in the data offer insights as to why Chinese suppliers embrace KAM, what KAM activities they engage in, and how they adapt to serve Western KAs. Comparing personnel attitudes (perceived supervisor effectiveness, job satisfaction, and commitment) to those of personnel from suppliers at two Western countries, it seems that comparatively less effective supervisors and stress may harm attitudes at Chinese firms. Overall, our study suggests that Chinese suppliers gain competitive advantage through active market intelligence gathering and adaptive practices. For Western KAs, adapting toward their Chinese counterparts' traditional guanxi tendencies should strengthen supply chain relationships.
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- Employee attitude
- Key account management
- ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT