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01-09-2012 | Issue 3/2012

Marketing Letters 3/2012

Competitive channel relationship management: When resellers establish competing manufacturer relationships

Journal:
Marketing Letters > Issue 3/2012
Authors:
Alberto Sa Vinhas, Richard Gibbs

Abstract

The focus of this study is the impact of competitive relationships on the effectiveness of channel relationship management strategies. We argue that the characteristics of a reseller’s relationship with alternative manufacturers influence his/her evaluation of the relationship with a focal manufacturer. We extend previous research by suggesting that the relative levels of channel conflict and information exchange are critical determinants of relationship outcomes. Building on previous literature on customer satisfaction, we argue that this relation is asymmetric; improvements in the levels of channel conflict and information exchange will have a greater effect when these are below the competitor’s comparative level than when these are above. We find support for these hypotheses in a sample of 491 observations corresponding to different resellers selling a manufacturer’s product line across several countries. Our results underscore the need for suppliers to go beyond conflict minimization and information exchange policies across relationships and consider individual-level competitive effects for each relationship.

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