Diploma-relevant theory and sources

Qualified key account managers should be aware of the body of knowledge which underpins good KAM practice. KAM is a multi-disciplinary activity. You cannot possibly be an expert in everything that professional KAM involves, but not having a basic grounding puts you at a real disadvantage:

  • you can't use the use the concepts in your work and you are short of tools to create value and overcome obstacles.
  • you can't really appreciate how other functions are thinking and what they are saying to you, both inside your own organisation and in your key account.

So AKAM's competency requirements include understanding and using some of the concepts on which KAM and other functions rely. "Nothing is as practical as a good theory." Just like any other serious professional qualification, you need to know some of the theory as well as the practice.

Your submission of competencies for the Diploma should demonstrate some application of underlying theory. You are not asked to give references or detail any theory, but you should be able to show how theory has informed your practice.

For example, you may say that your account was categorised as a 'star' account and you, therefore, expected and gained significant growth, which was partly achieved by developing a value proposition around a product augmented by specific barcoding which reduced costs in handling for the customer and therefore added to its value in use, demonstrating your understanding of the concepts of value in use, value propositions and supply chain costs.


We've compiled a list of books that could help you add to your knowledge and understanding of the subjects listed, albeit far from exhaustive.

Recorded lecture modules

KAM has commissioned a series of 2-hour lectures to give Diploma applicants easy access to some of the most important theory you should know about, delivered by experts in their fields. You may already know it all but AKAM is offering these lectures for those of you who may not have been exposed to these ideas in your career to date and do not have the opportunity to take a course or read the books. There is no obligation to take this option, it's subject to an additional fee of €450.

The set consists of 8 modules (only available as a complete set, not individually). You will have access as many times as you like for 2 years from sign-up, but you cannot download the lectures. You don't have to go through the whole 2 hours at one sitting - each module is divided into sections so you can take them one at a time or altogether and repeat whatever you like. These modules are only available to Diploma applicants, sign up through Member Resources after registration.

  1. Key Account Management: Dr Diana Woodburn, AKAM Chairman
  2. Buying/Procurement: Dr Colin Scott, Grange Partnership
  3. Selling/Business development: Niall Hayes, Technological University of Dublin
  4. Marketing: Dr Lesley Murphy, Technological University of Dublin
  5. Supply chain: Dr Simon Templar, Cranfield School of Management
  6. Finance: Dr Kate Scott, Grange Partnership
  7. Organisational behaviour: Dr Slava Dmitriev, Rennes Business School
  8. Leadership: Dr Ashley Roberts, Warwick Business School

Click the button below to view and/or download the Diploma reference books list

Click the button below to purchase the optional training modules

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