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Title: Understanding account management in professional services relationships : conceptualising a value framework of account management from client and professional perspective in the audit, tax and management consultancy industry
Author: Van Bon, Hendrikus Johannes
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 9955
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2013
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Professionals take centre stage in the delivery of professional services and the role of account management has received little research attention. This thesis concerns the value of account management in professional service relationships in the audit, tax and management consultancy industry, contextualising the nature and value of account management through client and professional perspectives. It addresses the challenges of embedding the account management role in the firm as a role of the professional or a separate function. The aim of this thesis is to conceptualise a value framework for account management. Based on the principles of grounded theory, the method comprises 29 interviews with professionals, account managers and clients. Embracing an emergent, iterative process, the lenses used to reflect on these interviews include service dominant logic, relationships, the nature of professions and professionals along with client value and notions of organisational change. The emergent perceived value framework comprises five themes. Apart from the theme 'perceived value of account management', the other themes can be conceptualised at three levels: (i) external environment; (ii) firm's organisation and the professional-client relationships; (iii) and account management. Furthermore, the results indicate that professional service firms have difficulty in structuring and formalising account management implying a considerable organisational culture change management agenda. The role for account management varies between an integrated account management role performed by the professional in strategic services and by full-time dedicated account managers in more commoditised services and competitive environments. Well-embedded account management provides competitive advantage and differentiates the professional service firm.
Supervisor: Not named Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Professional services relationships ; Audit ; Tax ; Management ; Consultancy services ; Account management ; Value framework