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Sources of Power in International Marketing Channels

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In response to certain important gaps in existing knowledge of distribution channels in international markets, this paper reports an empirical study on the sources of power in cross-cultural buyer-seller relationships. Specifically, the focus of attention is an examination of the nature of and interrelations among the sources of power held by overseas distributors in their relationships with export manufacturers. The findings suggest that an overseas distributor's use of reward is positively related to its informational, referent, legitimate and expert power sources, as is perceived by export manufacturers. It has also been found that there is a negative relationship between an importer's use of coercion and its informational base of power over the exporter. Moreover, specific reward and punishment elements are identified that play an important role in influencing the pattern of interactions in manufacturer-overseas distributor relationships. The implications of these findings for business practitioners and public policy makers are discussed and directions for future research on the topic considered.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2000-02-01

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