Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 226–240 | Cite as

Organizing and managing channels of distribution

  • Gary L. Frazier


During the past three decades, tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of how firms should organize and manage their channels of distribution. Still, we have barely touched the surface of all the managerial issues that need to be addressed. A variety of research needs still exist regarding constructs and issues examined in prior channels research. Furthermore, many issues of managerial importance relating to the organization and management of channels of distribution have received no attention in empirical research. The purpose of this article is to provide a perspective on how channels research should proceed in the future to promote the most progress. It is hoped that the article will help to shape the future direction of marketing thought with regard to channels of distribution and its fundamental domain.


Market Orientation Distribution Channel Multiple Channel Channel Member Market Coverage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alter, Catherine. 1990. “An Exploratory Study of Conflict and Coordination in Interorganizational Service Delivery Systems.”Academy of Management Journal 33 (September):478–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, Erin. 1985. “The Salesperson as Outside Agent or Employee: A Transaction Cost Analysis.”Marketing Science 4 (Summer): 234–254.Google Scholar
  3. —, and Anne Coughlan. 1987. “International Market Entry and Expansion via Independent or Integrated Channels of Distribution.”Journal of Marketing 51 (January): 71–82.Google Scholar
  4. —, Leonard Lodish, and Barton Weitz. 1987. “Resource Allocation Behavior in Conventional Channels”Journal of Marketing Research 24 (February): 85–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. — and Barton Weitz. 1989. “Determinants of Continuity in Conventional Industrial Channel Dyads.”Marketing Science 8 (Fall): 310–323.Google Scholar
  6. — and —. 1992. “The Use of Pledges to Build and Sustain Commitment in Distribution Channels.”Journal of Marketing Research 29 (February): 18–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Anderson, James, and James Narus. 1990. “A Model of Distributor Firm and Manufacturer Firm Working Partnerships.”Journal of Marketing 54 (January): 42–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. — Hakan Hakansson, and Jan Johanson 1994. “Dyadic Business Relationships Within a Business Network Context.”Journal of Marketing 58 (October): 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bello, Daniel and David Gilliland. 1997. “The Effect of Output Controls, Process Controls, and Flexibility on Export Channel Performance.”Journal of Maketing 61 (January): 22–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bergen, Mark, Jan Heide, and Shantanu Dutta. 1998. “Managing Grey Markets Through Tolerance of Violations: A Transaction Cost Approach.”Managerial and Decision Economics 19 (Spring): 157–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boyle, Brett, F. Robert Dwyer, Robert Robincheaux, and James Simpson. 1992. “Influence Strategies in Marketing Channels: Measures and Use in Different Relationship Structures.”Journal of Marketing Research 29 (November): 462–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brown, James and Ralph Day. 1981. “Measures of Manifest Conflict in Distribution Channels.”Journal of Marketing Research 18 (August): 263–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Buchanan, Lauranne. 1992., “Vertical Trade Relationships: The Role of Dependence and Symmetry in Attaining Organizational Goals.”Journal of Marketing Research 29 (February): 65–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cavusgil, S. Tamer and Shaoming Zou. 1994. “Marketing Strategy-Performance Relationship: An Investigation of the Empirical Link in Export Market Ventures.”Journal of Marketing 58 (January): 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Celly, Kirti and Gary Frazier. 1996. “Outcome-Based and Behavior-Based Coordination Efforts in Channel Relationship.”Journal of Marketing Research 33 (May): 200–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Day, George. 1994. “The Capabilities of Market-Driven Organizations.”Journal of Marketing 58 (October): 37–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Despande, Rohit and Frederick Webster Jr. 1989. “Organizational Culture and Marketing: Defining the Research Agenda.”Journal of Marketing 53 (January): 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dutta, Shantanu, Mark Bergen, and George John. 1994. “The Governance of Exclusive Territories When Dealers Can Bootleg.”Marketing Science 13 (Winter): 83–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. ——, Jan Heide, and George John 1995. “Understanding Dual Distribution: The Case of Reps and House Accounts.”Journal of Law Economics, and Organization 11 (April): 189–204.Google Scholar
  20. Dutta, Shantanu, Jan Heide, and Mark Bergen. Forthcoming. “Vertical Territorial Restrictions and Public Policy: Evidence From Industrial Markets.”Journal of Marketing.Google Scholar
  21. Dwyer, F. Robert and Sejo Oh. 1987. “Output Sector Munificence Effects on the Internal Political Economy of Marketing Channels”Journal of Marketing Research 24 (November): 347–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. — and Orville Walker. 1981,. “Bargaining in an Asymmetrical Power Structure.”Journal of Marketing 45 (Winter): 104–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. — and M. Ann Welsh. 1985. “Environmental Relationships of the Internal Political Economy of Marketing Channels.”Journal of Marketing Research 22 (November): 397–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. —, Paul Schurr, and Sejo Oh. 1987. “Developing Buyer-Seller Relationships.”Journal of Marketing 51 (April): 11–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. El-Ansary, Adel and Louis Stern. 1972. “Power Measurement in the Distribution Channel.”Journal of Marketing Research 9 (February): 47–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Etgar, Michael 1979. “Sources and Types of Intrachannel Conflict.”Journal of Retailing 55 (Spring): 61–78.Google Scholar
  27. Fein, Adam and Erin Anderson. 1997. “Patterns of Credible Commitments: Territory and Brand Selectivity in Industrial Distribution Channels.”Journal of Marketing 61 (April): 19–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Frazier, Gary. 1983a. “On the Measurement of Interfirm Power in Channels of Distribution.”Journal of Marketing Research 20 (May): 158–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. —. 1983b. “Interorganizational Exchange Behavior in Marketing Channels: A Broadened Perspective.”Journal of Marketing 47 (Fall): 68–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. —, and John Summers. 1984. “Interfirm Influence Strategies and Their Application Within Distribution Channels.”Journal of Marketing 48 (Summer): 43–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. — and Jagdish Sheth. 1985. “An Attitude-Behavior Framework for Distribution Channel Management.”Journal of Marketing 49 (Summer): 38–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. — and John Summers. 1986. “Perceptions of Interfirm Power and Its Use Within a Franchise Channel of Distribution.”Journal of Marketing Research 23 (May): 169–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. —, Robert Spekman, and Charles O’Neal. 1988. “Just-in-Time Exchange Relationships in Channels of Distribution.”Journal of Marketing 52 (October): 52–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. —, James Gill, and Sudhir Kale. 1989., “Dealer Dependence Levels and Reciprocal Actions in a Channel of Distribution in a Developing Country.”Journal of Marketing 53 (January): 50–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. — and Raymond Rody. 1991. “The Use of Influence Strategies in Interfirm Relationships in Industrial Product Channels.”Journal of Marketing 55 (January): 52–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. — and Kersi Antia. 1995. “Exchange Relationships and Interfirm Power in Channels of Distribution.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 23 (Fall): 321–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. — and Walfried Lassar. 1996., “Determinants of Distribution Intensity.”Journal of Marketing 60 (October): 39–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ganesan, Shankar. 1993. “Negotiation Strategies and the Nature of Channel Relationships.”Journal of Marketing Research 30 (May): 183–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gundlach, Gregory and Ernest Cadotte. 1994. “Exchange Interdependence and Interfirm Interaction: Research in a Simulated Channel Setting.”Journal of Marketing Research 31 (November): 516–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. —, Ravi Achrol, and John Mentzer., 1995. “The Structure of Commitment in Exchange.”Journal of Marketing 59 (January): 78–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hallen, Lars, Jan Johanson and Nazeem Seyed-Mohamed. 1991. “Interfirm Adaptation in Business Relationships”Journal of Marketing 55 (April): 39–37.Google Scholar
  42. Heide, Jan. 1994. “Interorganizational Governance in Marketing Channels.”Journal of Marketing 58 (January): 71–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. — and George John 1992. “Do Norms Matter in Marketing Relationships.”Journal of Marketing 56 (April): 32–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. —, Shantanu Dutta, and Mark Bergen. 1998. “Exclusive Dealing and Business Efficiency: Evidence From Industry Practice.”Journal of Law and Economics 41 (October): 99–119.Google Scholar
  45. Huber, George 1990. “A Theory of the Effects of Advanced Information Technologies on Organizational Design, Intelligence, and Decision Making.”Academy of Management Review 15 (1): 47–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hunt, Shelby and John Nevin. 1974. “Power in a Channel of Distribution: Sources and Consequences.”Journal of Marketing Research 11 (May): 186–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Jackson, Barbara. 1985.Winning and Keeping Industrial Customers. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  48. Jaworski, Bernard. 1988. “Toward a Theory of Marketing Control: Environmental Context, Control Types, and Consequences.”Journal of Marketing 52 (July): 23–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. — and Ajay Kohli. 1993. “Market Orientation: Antecedents and Consequences.”Journal of Marketing 57 (July): 53–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Jeuland, Abel and Steven Shugan. 1983. “Managing Channel Profits.”Marketing Science 2 (Summer): 239–272.Google Scholar
  51. John, George. 1984. “An Empirical Investigation of Some Antecedents of Opportunism in a Marketing Channel.”Journal of Marketing Research 21 (August): 278–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. — and Barton Weitz 1988 “Forward Integration Into Distribution: An Empirical Test of Transaction Cost Analysis.”Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 4 (Fall): 121–139.Google Scholar
  53. — and —. 1989. “Salesforce Compensation: An Empirical Investigation of Factors Related to the Use of Salary Versus Incentive Compensation.”Journal of Marketing Research 26 (February): 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Johnson, Jean, Tombaki Sakano, Joseph Cote, and Naoto Onzo. 1993. “The Exercise of Interfirm Power and Its Repercussions in U.S.-Japanese Channel Relationships”Journal of Marketing 57 (April): 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Klein, Benjamin. 1996. “Why Hold-ups Occur: The Self-Enforcing Range of Contractual Relationships.”Economic Inquiry 34 (July): 444–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Klein, Saul, Gary Frazier, and Victor Roth. 1990. “A Transaction Cost Analysis Model of Channel Integration in International Markets.”Journal of Marketing Research 27 (May): 196–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kollock, Peter and Jodi O’Brien. 1992. “The Social Construction of Exchange.” InAdvances in Group, Processes. Ed. Edward Lawler. Greenwich, CT: JAI, 89–112.Google Scholar
  58. Kumar, Nirmalya, Lisa Scheer, and Jan-Benedict Steenkamp. 1995a. “The Effects of Supplier Fairness on Vulnerable Resellers.”Journal of Marketing Research 32 (February): 54–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. ——, and —. 1995b. “The Effects of Perceived Interdependence on Dealer Attitudes.”Journal of Marketing Research 32 (August): 248–256.Google Scholar
  60. Lal, Rajiv. 1990. “Improving Channel Coordination Through Franchising.”Marketing Science 9 (Fall): 299–318.Google Scholar
  61. Lilien, Gary. 1979. “Advisor 2: Modeling the Marketing Mix Decisions for Industrial Products.”Management Science 25 (February): 191–204.Google Scholar
  62. Lusch, Robert. 1976. “Sources of Power: Their Impact on Intrachannel Conflict.”Journal of Marketing Research 13 (November): 382–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. — and James Brown. 1982. “A Modified Model of Power in the Marketing Channel.”Journal of Marketing Research 19 (August): 312–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. — and —. 1996. “Interdependency, Contracting, and Relational Behavior in Marketing Channels.”Journal of Marketing 60 (October): 19–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Mohr, Jakki and John Nevin. 1990. “Communication Strategies in Marketing Channels: A Theoretical Perspective.”Journal of Marketing 54 (October): 36–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Moorthy, K. 1988. “Strategic Decentralization in Channels.”Marketing Science 7 (Fall): 335–355.Google Scholar
  67. Morgan, Robert and Shelby Hunt. 1994. “The Commitment-Trust Theory of Relationship Marketing.”Journal of Marketing 58 (July): 20–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Pondy, Lou. 1967. “Organizational Conflict: Concepts and Models.”Administrative Science Quarterly 12 (September): 296–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Reve, Torger. 1986. “Organization for Distribution.” InResearch in Marketing: Distribution Channels and Institutions. Eds. Louis Bucklin and James Carman. Greenwich, CT: JAI 1–26.Google Scholar
  70. Rosenberg, Larry and Louis Stern. 1971. “Conflict Measurement in the Distribution Channel.”Journal of Marketing Research 8 (November): 437–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Scheer, Lisa and Louis Stern. 1992. “The Effect of Influence Type and Performance Outcomes on Relationship Climate.”Journal of Marketing Research 29 (February): 128–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Siguaw, Judy Penny Simpson, and Thomas Baker. 1998. “Effects of Supplier Market Orientation on Distributor Orientation and the Channel Relationship: The Distributor Perspective.”Journal of Marketing 62 (July): 99–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Stern, Louis and Torger Reve. 1980. “Distribution Channels as Political Economies: A Framework for Comparative Analysis.”Journal of Marketing 44 (Summer): 52–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. —, Brian Sternthal, and Samuel Craig. 1973. “Managing Conflict in Distribution Channels: A Laboratory Study.”Journal of Marketing Research 10 (May): 169–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. —, Adel El-Ansary, and Anne Coughlan. 1996.Marketing Channels. 5th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  76. Webster, Frederick. 1992. “The Changing Role of Marketing in the Corporation.”Journal of Marketing, 56 (October): 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Weitz, Barton and Sandy Jap. 1995. “Relationship Marketing and Distribution Channels.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 23 (Fall): 305–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Williamson, Oliver. 1985.The Economic Institutions of Capitalism New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  79. —. 1996.The Mechanisms of Governance. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary L. Frazier
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles

Personalised recommendations