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Gender Stereotyping in Key Account Management: A study of male and female attributes in relation to the customers' perception of an ideal Key Account Manager
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4829-6176
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3902-0634
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5330-4169
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Even though Sweden is one of the most highly developed countries in the world when it comes to the observance of gender equality, there are still many professions in which the distribution between men and women are vastly uneven. One of these is the key account manager profession, where around 80-90% of the persons chosen for the task are men. Taking on a controversial type of feministic approach, this thesis investigates if there is room for a change in the currently uneven gender distribution by suggesting that female attributes, especially nurturing ability, would be more preferable in key account management than male attributes, such as assertiveness. By visiting the variety of research on gender stereotypes, which many studies show still are alive, and choosing the gender-based personality traits that fitted best under the conceptualization of modern key account management, a framework for a questionnaire was created. Respondents from mainly large manufacturing business-to-business companies in capacity of mainly purchasing managers were asked to participate and give their opinion about the importance of the different personality traits. The results were due to the hypothesized proposition. Data clearly showed that the most preferable key account manager attributes from the customers’ perspective were predominantly what could be considered to be female attributes. However, the results also showed that a significant share of the respondents were not prone to ascribe attributes to gender, but rather to personality, adding an inevitable and interesting dimension for further analysis. The main implications of the study are versatile and could be considered controversial, but do entail some concrete implications, especially for management: a person possessing female attributes, likely a woman, might be more beneficial to hire for a key account manager position.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 97 p.
Keyword [en]
key account management, gender stereotyping, difference feminism, quantitative method
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-26949OAI: diva2:631629
Educational program
Marketing Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2013-06-25 Created: 2013-06-22 Last updated: 2013-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Börjesson, EvelinaHögberg Mårder, JosefineSjöö, Kim
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