This paper reviews the article “). Performance Effects of Global Account Coordination Mechanisms: An Integrative Study of Boundary Conditions”, published by Linda Hui Shi and Tao Gao in 2016, in the Journal of International Marketing. It reviews the main ideas of the article, examines its relationship to other readings on the topic, and provides a critique of the article. The main thesis of this paper is that the effectiveness of Global Account Management (GAM) coordination programs varies according to the operating context: specifically, the “strategic, relational and environmental conditions” (Shi and Gao, 2016, p. 1). The authors of this article have chosen to explore the topic of the effectiveness of GAM coordination programs for a number of reasons. In the first place, the authors stress the importance of effective GAM coordination in the strategy of multinational corporations in the increasingly globalised business world and consumer market. They cite case-study examples and research which suggest that GAM coordination is fundamental to the success of individual companies attempting to serve a complex, global customer base. At the same time, however, the authors discuss the relative lack of academic and theoretical understanding of the factors affecting the effectiveness of GAM coordination strategies. The authors have therefore chosen to explore this topic in an attempt to address this gap in research.
The paper uses a wide variety of factual evidence to support the main thesis and to attempt to bridge the gap identified in the existing literature. Firstly, in establishing the importance of GAP coordination and the factors that influence its success, facts relating to GAP coordination issues in real-life multinational corporations, such as Siemens and Schneider Electric are discussed. Forming the main body of the paper, however, is original empirical factual evidence investigating “the boundary conditions that affect performance impacts of alternative GAM coordination mechanisms in both relational and operational domains” (Shi and Gao, 2016, p. 2). It provides factual evidence relating to two specific measures of GAM performance: “subjective assessments at the program level and an objective measure at the organizational level” (Shi and Gao, 2016, p. 2), thereby combining primary and secondary evidence to provide an overarching view of the factors which impact GAM performance.
Compared to other studies on this topic, this paper is slightly different in that it attempts to integrate a number of different perspectives, not only from global marketing theory, but also from the field of organizational design and from relationship marketing theory, in order to provide a comprehensive picture of the factors that effective GAM coordination effectiveness.
The paper concludes by confirming that the results of the study indicates that GAM coordination strategy effectiveness is indeed impacted by contextual factors, making different mechanisms more or less effective depending on the situation in which they are employed. The paper recommends further research to develop understanding in this area, and to establish a foundation for theory-based practice within multinational corporations. It makes a number of suggestions about the emphases such further research should adopt, with a focus on more specific areas of the context which might affect GAM coordination effectiveness.
By attempting to provide a multi-perspective approach to this issue of global marketing, this paper utilises a novel approach which seems very much in keeping with the rapid pace of change in the increasingly globalised business environment. Globalisation is a phenomenon which is largely fuelled by the integration of perspectives and approaches, so Shi and Gao’s approach signal the way in which business research needs to adapt to remain relevant. The paper is both insightful and suggestive, and provides a firm basis for further research in this area.
- Shi, L. H., and Gao, T. (2016). “Performance Effects of Global Account Coordination Mechanisms: An Integrative Study of Boundary Conditions.” Journal of International Marketing, 24(2), 1-21. doi:10.1509/jim.15.0103.