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Don’t you (forget about me): The impact of out-of- the-channel-loop perceptions in distribution channels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ce (Jacky) Mo, Ting Yu, Ko de Ruyter

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-790
Number of pages30
JournalEUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MARKETING
Volume54
Issue number4
Early online date5 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2020

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Abstract

Purpose
To advance research on channel relationship management, this study aims to test for the impacts of a channel member’s perception of exclusion from a supplier’s distribution channel networks (i.e. out-of-the-channel-loop perceptions [OCLP]) on supplier–channel partner relationships. The authors also systematically develop and empirically validate a scale to measure OCLP.

Design/methodology/approach
This paper reports two empirical studies. The first develops a new scale for OCLP, following established approaches. The second tests the hypotheses. Survey data from a sample of channel firms operating in four industries were subjected to partial least squares modelling in the test of the hypothesized main and moderating effects.

Findings
The authors developed the new scale, including eight items, that capture OCLP from both social and economic perspectives. The results also show that OCLP has negative impacts on channel members’ psychological and behavioural outcomes (satisfaction, information sharing, positive word of mouth), after controlling for the effect of perceived unfairness. Channel partner perceived peer support emerges as a boundary condition of the impact; perceived informational support attenuates, whereas emotional support amplifies, the impact of OCLP.

Research limitations/implications
This study suggests new research opportunities for explaining business-to-business marketing relationships using newly conceptualized OCLP.

Practical implications
This study highlights that suppliers must recognize the potential for negative consequences of OCLP and manage these perceptions to minimize the negative implications. For suppliers, this study also offers several tools for managing OCLP.

Originality/value

This study introduces ostracism concepts to marketing channel literature to study a potential detriment to channel relationships. The proposed scale captures channel partners’ sense of exclusion from supplier relationships. It provides initial insights into the direct impacts on channel relational outcomes and associated boundary conditions.

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