Edited by Charles A. Ingene, James R. Brown and Rajiv P. Dant
Chapter 5: Organizational control in marketing channels: a meta-analytic review
Organizational control is used to coordinate the activities and align the interests of independently managed marketing channel firms, which should result in better performance (i.e., disciplining effects of control). Yet, some research suggests that control may have unintended, crowding out effects, such as increased opportunism. Using meta-analytic techniques, the authors attempt to reconcile these contradictory findings and provide some empirical generalizations about control in marketing channels. Based on transaction cost economics and agency theory, hypotheses regarding the antecedents and consequences of control in marketing channels are developed and tested. The results show that environmental uncertainty and transaction specific investments are related positively to both outcome and process control. Performance ambiguity, in contrast, is related negatively to output control. In general, the results support the disciplining effects of organizational control in marketing channels through reduced opportunism and enhanced performance. One exception is the positive, crowding out relationship between process control and opportunism.
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