طراحی تیم مشتری جهانی : ابعاد، عوامل، و نتایج عملکرد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|4501||2011||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10742 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 40, Issue 2, February 2011, Pages 278–289
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 behavior 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 multinational 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.
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 relationships with their customers (Cannon and Perreault, 1999, Heide and John, 1990 and Narayandas and Rangan, 2004). A common approach to exploiting the potential of long-term supplier–customer relationships (Anderson & Weitz, 1992) has been to adopt various customer management techniques, such as relationship management (Subramani & Venkatraman, 2003), relationship marketing (Grönroos, 1994, Morgan and Hunt, 1994 and Webster, 1992), or national and key account management (McDonald et al., 1997, Shapiro and Moriarty, 1984 and Weilbaker and Weeks, 1997). However, these approaches often become more challenging as customers become more global and powerful. With global expansion, customers establish a direct presence in more and more countries and simultaneously expect the supplier to provide consistent, coordinated service worldwide, which entails moving away from traditional relationships with local subsidiaries and toward uniform prices, terms, and service in markets in which the supplier may lack operations (Montgomery & Yip, 2000). Furthermore, these customers recognize the strategic value-adding potential of global procurement (Cohen & Huchzermeier, 1999 and Ellram and Carr, 1994) and therefore adopt integrated centralized purchasing practices (Olsen and Ellram, 1997 and Sheth and Sharma, 1997) to reduce their supplier base (Capon, 2001). The resulting shift of power to the customer increases through industry consolidation (Birkinshaw, Toulan, & Arnold, 2001) and advances in information and communication technologies, which enable customers to track suppliers' quality and prices globally (Narayandas, Quelch, & Swartz, 2000). These factors have heightened the challenges facing suppliers and made international approaches, such as global customer management (GCM) (Birkinshaw et al., 2001, Harveyet al., 2003, Shi et al., 2004 and Shi et al., 2005), the new frontier in customer management (Yip & Madsen, 1996). Defined as “an organizational form and process in multinational companies by which the worldwide activities serving one or more multinational customers are coordinated centrally by one person or team within the supplier company” (Montgomery & Yip, 2000, p. 24), GCM represents a key organizational design issue for suppliers (Homburg, Workman, & Jensen, 2002). Meeting global customer demands requires a coordinated cross-functional effort, including establishing a customer dimension that crosses existing product, country, or functional units and mobilizes organization-wide resources to deliver on customer expectations (Galbraith, 2001). In its simplest form, this dimension might be a specialized global customer manager who plays a pivotal boundary-spanning role to manage external and internal relationships and coordinate dispersed value-adding activities (Millman, 1996). As the relationship with the customer develops, the number of contacts between companies and the need for dedicated resources and relationship-specific adaptations increases (Dwyer, Schurr, & Oh, 1987), as does the number of people involved in the relationship. A dedicated team, possibly composed of sales representatives from various product lines and countries or with a cross-functional composition including manufacturing, distribution, finance, R&D, and other functional units, works to present an integrated presence to the customer (Galbraith, 2001). Ultimately, in an overall GCM organization, all customer managers and teams are integrated to reconcile external alignment requirements by the customer with the organization's existing configuration of activities. Consequently, three main levels of analysis emerge in the context of GCM organizational solutions: the individual global customer manager, the global customer team (GCT), and the overall GCM program. Whereas prior work addresses the role of global customer managers (Harvey et al., 2003, Millman, 1996 and Wilson and Millman, 2003) and structural aspects on the program level (Birkinshaw et al., 2001, Homburg et al., 2002, Kempeners and van der Hart, 1999 and Shapiro and Moriarty, 1984), no GCM research considers the design and functioning of the team in detail. As a result, we suffer a lack of understanding about when teams should be formed, how they should be structured and managed, and, most important, what determines their performance. Following the call of Workman, Homburg, and Jensen (2003) for more research that examines how team type influences effectiveness, we develop and test a framework of GCT design and performance that draws on relevant literature from the fields of GCM, team selling (Moon and Armstrong, 1994, Moon and Gupta, 1997 and Smith and Barclay, 1993), and small groups within the organization (e.g., Ancona and Caldwell, 1992a, Cohen and Bailey, 1997 and Gladstein, 1984). Specifically, this article aims to fill the research gap identified above by clearly delineating key GCT performance determinants. It identifies domains of GCM team functioning with their specific dimensions and tests their impact on team performance with a relatively large and truly global data sample. It contributes to the international marketing literature by narrowing the traditional focus on the overall GCM approach to concentrate on one of its less researched building blocks—the team. Moreover, it complements prior suggestions regarding the key decisions involved in designing a customer team (Kempeners & van der Hart, 1999) by proposing additional design dimensions and linking them to outcomes. Finally, the novel interdisciplinary approach of combining concepts from customer management and organizational behavior research allowed us to identify and employ team-related variables that, although used in the context of smaller teams, have never been empirically tested in the more complex, dynamic and boundary-transcending context of GCM.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The major contribution offered by this article is the development and empirical validation of an integrative model that sheds light on the performance determinants of a relatively new and underresearched phenomenon, namely, GCT. Its novel approach lies in the interdisciplinary combination of concepts from customer management and organizational behavior research. Our focus on the team level has not been investigated sufficiently in previous customer management literature. Therefore, our detailed delineation of the domains of team functions, along with their specific elements, provides a more complete set of performance determinants and extends prior research on GCT, which addresses only fundamental organizational decisions (Kempeners & van der Hart, 1999). The introduction of concepts from research on organizational groups and cross-functional teams also broadens understanding of GCM teamwork by moving a step beyond purely structural issues. Moreover, we suggest and inspect variables that have never been empirically tested in a GCM context, including empowerment, leadership, conflict management, and training. Our contribution to the organizational behavior field involves identifying factors that gain greater importance in teams with more complex and dynamic structures, tasks, and environments. For example, constructs such as proactiveness, top management support, skills, and rewards have not been broadly emphasized or have produced inconclusive results in previous studies of teams with more structured and stable settings. However, they receive strong confirmation in this study, which implies a distinctive set of individual, team, and organizational capabilities may generalize to teams with similarly dynamic natures. From a managerial viewpoint, this study highlights the importance of adopting a holistic approach to the composition and management of GCTs. As the results show, all team characteristics and the context in which the team works have important performance implications. Consequently, neglecting some or all of these issues will represent a key barrier to team effectiveness and the overall GCM operations of the supplier. Moreover, we develop a comprehensive model that can guide companies attempting to implement customer teams and help them improve their existing global customer relationships. Many of the identified elements fall directly or indirectly under the control of senior managers. Therefore, the complete set of 12 team characteristics and their corresponding questionnaire items, along with the 9 performance indicators, may serve as a practical tool for designing new GCTs or enhancing the effectiveness of existing ones, because they enable the firm to assess its current performance, map out areas for improvement, develop courses of action, and track progress along each dimension. Finally, the tested linkages among the variables illustrate the mechanisms through which different aspects of GCM teamwork are interrelated. This can help managers better understand and foresee potential consequences of their actions in each domain.