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Exercises of power in marketing channel dyads: Power advantage versus power disadvantage

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Taking the channel dyad as the unit of analysis, this study investigated the impact of channel members' power on their uses of power in two distinct conditions: in power advantage and in power disadvantage. The study found that channel members' power has a positive impact on their uses of non-coercive power regardless of their relative position in channel dyads; their uses of coercive power are sensitive negatively to their own power in the condition that they are in power advantage, and sensitive negatively to the target members' power in the condition that they are in power disadvantage. It also finds that the predictions of deterrence theory are partially supported in both the case of power advantage and power disadvantage, while no evidence supports the predictions of conflict spiral theory in either case. One contribution of this study is that the research method and research findings provide a possible explanation for the inconsistent or contradictory empirical findings on the relationship between power and exercises of power.

Keywords: Channel power; People's Republic of China; department store; power advantage; power disadvantage; retail management

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Management, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, People's Republic of China, 710049 2: Herndon & Cheung, Columbia, Missouri, USA 3: Department of Marketing, Faculty of Business,City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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