Data from a field study af the automobile distribution channel are used to examine how dealers' perceptions of their manufacturers' power ore related to the latter's use of coercive and noncoercive influence strategies. Dealers' reports about their manufacturers' reliance on the various influence strategies also are related to dealers' attitudes toward their manufacturers and the dealers' own use of selected influence strategies.
Perceptions of Interfirm Power and Its Use Within a Franchise Channel of Distribution
Though the need for firms to develop and effectively use their power' has been a major theme in the marketing channels literature (cf. Beier and Stem 1969; Frazier 1983b; Kasulis and Spekman 1980), influence strategies, that is, the altemative means for applying power (e.g., threats, recommendations), have received little empirical attention. Hunt and Nevin (1974), Lusch (1976), and Lusch and Brown (1982) examined coercive and noncoercive sources of power, and Gaski and Nevin (1985) investigated "exercised coercive and noncoercive (reward) sources of power," but none of their studies explicitly considered the use of influence strategies. This lack of attention is particularly significant because of current controversy on how power is related to the use of coercive influence strategies. Some researchers have argued that a high level of power
'Power in this context has been defined consistently as the ability of one channel member to influence decision variables of another channel member, a potential for influence on another's beliefs and behavior, whereas influence strategies refer to the altemative means for applying power (e.g., threats and recommendations) that can be used by a firm's boundary personnel in their influence attempts with associated channel members (cf. Angelmar and Stem 1978; El-Ansary and Stem 1972; Etgar 1976; Frazier and Summers 1984; Tedeschi, Schlenker, and Bonoma 1973). The term... [continues]
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