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Managers@Work: Leveraging Synergies Between R&D and Key Account Management to Drive Value Creation

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Abstract:

OVERVIEW: Customer integration into the innovation process, including the fuzzy front end, is increasingly being adopted by firms in search of new innovation and value-creation opportunities. Through a case study of Altana, a specialty chemicals company with worldwide R&D and sales operations, we find that a closer collaboration between R&D and key account management (KAM) unlocks synergies and value creation potential while avoiding the negative side effects of customer integration. Specifically, we describe the motivation for leveraging synergies between R&D and KAM, the location of potential synergies in the innovation process, and ways to foster meaningful alignment and engagement. Following an explanation of observed outcomes of the collaboration, we derive managerial implications.

Keywords: Collaborative innovation; Customer integration; Key account management

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5437/08956308X5503020

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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