Handbook of Research on Distribution Channels
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Handbook of Research on Distribution Channels

Edited by Charles A. Ingene, James R. Brown and Rajiv P. Dant

Distribution channels are the most complex element of the marketing mix to fully grasp and to profitably manage. In this Handbook the authors present cutting-edge research on channel management and design from analytical, conceptual, and empirical perspectives. The breadth of this Handbook makes it appropriate for use in a doctoral course on distribution channels, or as a knowledge-broadening resource for faculty and researchers who wish to understand types of channels research that are outside the scope of their own approach to distribution.
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Chapter 5: Organizational control in marketing channels: a meta-analytic review

James R. Brown and Jody L. Crosno

Abstract

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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