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Selecting marketing channel partners : a relational view on context-specific channel capabilities

Overbeek, R. (2016) Selecting marketing channel partners : a relational view on context-specific channel capabilities.

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Abstract:Companies increasingly seek profitable opportunities outside their national borders. Since selecting the right channel partner is not an easy task for organizations, an important question for manufacturers is how to select good partners abroad and what constitutes the relationship. Over time the literature about marketing channels shifted extensively towards the “soft-side” of channel literature; to behavioral-based approaches, while the economic-based approaches such as the resource-based view have become underexposed.Interestingly, although marketing channels always presume the interaction between multiple organizations, the current body of literature does not explain organization transcending principles such as inter-organizational competitive advantage. In particular, a research gap can be identified with regard to capabilities of channel partners. In order to fill this gap, rather than focusing on the atomistic resource-based view, the theoretical lens of the relational view is utilized to take on a dyad or network oriented perspective aimed at capabilities of channel partners. Additionally the distinct industrial context is taken into consideration, since contextual differences play an important role. Therefore, this research investigates how channel relationships can be understood, selected and developed, from a relational and context specific perspective. Through the use of sequential exploratory mixed methods research, which involves collection of both qualitative and quantitative data (Creswell, 2014), the data is collected. In the first phase, through an exploratory literature review, different capabilities are distinguished, described and integrated, leading up to the development of the channel collaboration capability model. In the second phase, qualitative and quantitative empirical data will be gathered through workshop sessions with focus groups of experts of a case company. The academic contribution of this study is to provide new dyadic insights in understanding, the selection, and development of channel relationships through the channel collaboration capability model. Filling the identified gap with regard to capabilities of channel partners and integrating an additional theoretical approach; utilizing the principles of the relational view, to marketing channel literature. The practical contribution is the development of a thoroughly elaborated method or “’tool’ which allows managers to evaluate potential channel partners based on their capabilities; through the distributor collaboration form.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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