Marketing theory has long studied the locus of a number of functions within a marketing system. Channel theory, in particular, addresses a number of basic questions as to which participants in a marketing channel best manage information and risk. Yet unanswered questions remain concerning which participants in a marketing channel network are most likely to be the sources ofknowledge leading to innovative and disruptively entrepreneurial actions. How do the answers to these questions depend on the locus of distinctive facets of entrepreneurial knowledge in an interorganisational system? How do dimensions of the product environment affect the locus of such knowledge? Amit, Glosten and Muller (1993) assert that “the role of the entrepreneur is to initiate uncertain environments” and, thus, “the entrepreneur is the one who assumes the uninsurable uncertainties” (p. 825). This definition, in effect, essentially construes all marketing decisions as entrepreneurial acts simply because there may be uncertainty about the probabilities of outcomes. According to Cadeaux ( 1997a), entrepreneurial actions in marketing, more properly, should only include those market transforming introductions and deletions of products and services and those selections and deselections of target markets that “create substantial shifts in arrangements of products across arrays of customers and customer uses” (p. 769). It is possible to define entrepreneurial knowledge (in marketing) as the understanding and anticipation of the dynamic effects entrepreneurial actions can have on market structure and its evolution (Cadeaux 1997 a following Dickson 1992).
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- Product Contingencies and the Locus of Entrepreneurial Knowledge in Marketing Channel Networks
Jack M. Cadeaux