ساختار حاکمیت تجارت b2b و استراتژی بازاریابی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2902||2012||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 41, Issue 6, August 2012, Pages 908–918
This study tries to find an answer to the question: Are different marketing channel governance structural dimensions equally conducive for different marketing strategies? The results from an empirical study suggest that different dimensions of channel governance structure may not be equally conducive for different marketing strategies. Specifically, a high level of centralization in channel governance has no significant association with any of the marketing strategies; whereas a high level of formalization is positively associated only with a focus strategy. In comparison, participation is positively associated with both differentiation and price leadership strategies, but negatively associated with a focus strategy. Furthermore, a post hoc analysis was conducted to get more clarity of these relationships. A discussion of the findings along with their implications and limitations are also presented.
While the importance of matching strategy and structure for the success of any organization is amply acknowledged in strategy literature (cf. Des and Davis, 1984, Galbraith and Kazanjian, 1986, Miller, 1987, Powell, 1992, Slater and Olson, 2000, Slater and Olson, 2001, White, 1986, Yin and Zajac, 2004 and Zheng et al., 2010), most authors examine this relationship within an intra-organizational context. Some exceptions include Lassar and Kerr, 1996, Li and Dant, 1997, Li and Dant, 1999, Homburg et al., 1999 and Mentzer and Williams, 2001; however, most authors take the stance that strategy influences channel governance. While, this directionality—i.e., first formulating a strategy and then designing and implementing an appropriate inter-organizational structure—may hold true for firms starting with no pre-existing channel network structure, this may be problematic for firms operating in or entering an ongoing marketing channel network with a pre-existing inter-organizational structure. While most authors acknowledge that a firm's relationship with others in the network influences implementation of marketing programs and strategy (Heide, 1994 and Reukert et al., 1985), to the best of our knowledge no one has empirically investigated the relationship between existing channel governance structure and the strategic dimension of marketing—a blueprint of how a firm competes in the marketplace (e.g., Porter, 1980, Slater and Olson, 2000 and Slater and Olson, 2001). To that end, this study investigates the relationship between an existing marketing channel governance structure (i.e., Hage and Aiken, 1967, Hall, 1962 and Hall, 1977) and the firm's marketing strategy (i.e., Porter, 1980). Specifically, this descriptive study empirically examines the relationships between existing channel governance mechanisms—centralization, formalization, and participation—and different marketing strategies—cost leadership, differentiation, and focus strategies. The impetus for this study stems from the fact that firms often have to function and make the best of an existing channel network without the possibility of changing the channel network with every change in marketing strategy. Under these conditions, firms need to be cognizant of the unique characteristics of channel governance structure dimensions and how they may impact different marketing strategies. Sometimes, firms may be able to fine-tune the governance structure of an existing channel system in terms of de/emphasizing some of its dimensions—centralization, formalization, and participation—to capitalize on the benefits that accrue from the strategy–structure synergy. This is critical in a changing marketplace where firms often form and operate within a complex network of supply chain partners (Achrol, 1997 and Achrol and Kotler, 1999) to attain greater efficiency and effectiveness. Moreover, in view of the fact that competition is between one network and another network, when firms enter or operate in an existing channel network, understanding the relationship between the existing network's characteristics (e.g., governance structure) and a firm's strategy is critical for the firm's success. In this study, we focus on the nature of compatibility between channel network governance structure and firm marketing strategies. We then empirically test a descriptive model capturing the relationships between dimensions of existing channel network governance structure and firm marketing strategy types. We acknowledge that when firms have the luxury of starting from scratch, they would be guided by the existing knowledge base, and will first develop a strategy that will determine the channel network governance structure. However, when firms enter an existing channel network or formulate a strategy within an existing channel network, they must take the existing channel network governance structure into consideration while formulating and implementing their marketing strategies. Another driving force behind this study stems from the writings which assert that the interrelationship between marketing and supply chain management (SCM) provides the foundation for enhancing customer value and competitive advantages for the firm (cf. Davis and Mentzer, 2006, Ellinger, 2000, Jüttner et al., 2007, Kahn and Mentzer, 1996, Kahn and Mentzer, 1998 and Kotzab, 1999). According to Kahn and Mentzer (1996), integration between different functional areas of a firm improves performance in terms of better customer service, better management of inventory levels, higher forecast accuracy, and greater customer and employee satisfaction. Further, Pfeffer, 1993 and Alvarado and Kotzab, 2001 encourage new research into effective ways to manage the supply chain network and its relationship with marketing as a whole. Apart from the importance of integration and collaboration between various functional units of the firm, the exact nature of integration that exists between marketing and supply chain networks is fuzzy (see Kahn & Mentzer, 1998). However, in view of the fact that the primary goal of both supply chain networks and marketing is to satisfy the needs and requirements of consumers (cf. Alvarado and Kotzab, 2001 and Mentzer et al., 2001), it is logical to expect supply chain and marketing activities to complement each other. The major contribution of this study to the industrial marketing literature is that it enhances our knowledge about the complementary relationship between existing channel governance structure and marketing strategies—an important agenda for both marketing scholars and practitioners. This investigation is timely because ‘good’ integration between strategy and channels enhances customer value and superior competitive advantages (Olson et al., 1995, Srivastava et al., 1999 and Urban and Hauser, 1993). Further, this study investigates the exact nature of the relationship between different channel governance mechanisms and different marketing strategies. We believe that this level of specificity will help channel, supply chain, and marketing managers compete effectively in the marketplace by aligning their marketing strategies with the existing channel governance mechanisms. To achieve these goals, first, the literature on the channel governance structure is examined (Section 2). This is followed by a discussion on marketing strategy (Section 3) and the theoretical rationale for the research hypotheses (Section 4). The method section (Section 5) is presented next. The last sections of this paper include the discussion of the findings, their implications (Section 6), and the limitations of the study (Section 7).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper aimed to empirically investigate the effect of marketing channel governance structure and marketing strategy typologies. As noted earlier, this study contributes to the industrial marketing literature by responding to calls for more research on the relationship between different functional areas (e.g., Fugate et al., 2008, Mentzer and Gundlach, 2010 and Mentzer et al., 2008). In addition, the research complements earlier work linking strategy and internal processes (cf. Galbraith and Kazanjian, 1986, Powell, 1992, Slater and Olson, 2000 and Yin and Zajac, 2004). However, this study differs from the earlier studies by treating channel governance structure as an exogenous variable and strategy typology as an endogenous variable to reflect the reality of firms operating in existing and well established marketing channels. The results suggest that different dimensions of marketing channel governance structure may not be equally congruent with different marketing strategies. Specifically, the results indicate that a highly centralized channel structure has no significant relationship with any of the marketing strategies studied in this research, whereas marketing channels with high levels of formalization have a possible effect only on focus strategy. In contrast, marketing channels with high levels of channel member participation have a negative effect on focus strategy and positive effect on both differentiation and price leadership marketing strategies. Finally, participation is positively associated with both differentiation and price leadership strategies, but negatively associated with a focus strategy. We find that the three dimensions of marketing channel governance structure are not equally conducive to different strategic typologies. In fact, the relationships seem to be conflicting, especially for a focus strategy. What is also interesting is the insignificant relationships between the centralization dimension of channel structure and all three strategic typologies; and the insignificant relationship between the formalization dimension and both differentiation and price leadership strategies. Intuitively, these findings make sense. When channel members are not involved in marketing decision making, they are likely to be indifferent to marketing strategies adopted by the channel leader, hence the insignificant effect of centralization on all strategic typologies. Regarding formalization, it clarifies channel members' roles and responsibilities, removes role ambiguity, and should thus enhance the successful implementation of all marketing strategies. This is likely to be especially true for a focus strategy where wholesalers may see their business shrinking in terms of volume without a commensurate reduction in effort. Thus, consistent with Love et al.'s (2002) suggestions, clarity of responsibilities and roles within a channel's context should be particularly beneficial for strategy implementation. A possible explanation for the insignificant relationship between formalization and differentiation and price leadership strategies could be that both of these strategies may benefit from high levels of channel member participation. Our study corroborates the findings in other studies which found mixed support for relationship between structure and differentiated strategies (Miller, 1988). Our study finds that participation is positively associated with both differentiation and price leadership strategies. Finally, the negative relationship between participation and a focus strategy may be explained by the fact that high participation by channel members might create confusion and ultimately eliminate the positive effect of formalization on a focus strategy. The findings of our research suggest that participation plays a significant role in marketing strategy formulation and implementation. The post hoc (SEM) analysis with participation mediating the relationship between channel structure dimensions and strategy types provides support for the crucial role of participation. The results indicate that the direct effects found in the unmediated model also hold true in the mediated model. However, the indirect relationship (mediated by participation) between centralization and a focus strategy (+ ve relationship) and a price leadership strategy (− ve relationship) is significant at p-value < 0.05; and the negative relationship between centralization and differentiation is significant at p-value < 0.10. It thus shows that channel member participation accentuates the relationship between centralization and strategy types. Finally, the indirect effect of formalization on a focus strategy is negative—compared to the positive direct effect—whereas the indirect effect of formalization on a price leadership strategy is significant—compared to the insignificant direct effect. This finding reveals that participation enhances the positive effect of formalization on a price leadership strategy, but nullifies the positive effect of formalization on a focus strategy. Overall, these findings have important managerial and research implications. Apart from managing business to business (i.e., independent firms in a marketing channel) networks, developing and implementing strategies to gain competitive advantage is pivotal for business managers. This is particularly critical in an existing channels context where managers may not have much freedom to change the channel governance structure already in place. Managers must strike a balance between the unique characteristics of different dimensions of channel governance structure and the demands of different marketing strategies. Our suggestion is consistent with the extant literature which suggests that “… while strategy alone or structure alone may have some influence on organizational performance, differences across firms are better predicted by considering the nature of the strategy/structure fit.” (Yin & Zajac, 2004, p. 365) More importantly, the findings of this study indicate that different strategic typologies—focus, differentiation, and price leadership—call for a different channel governance structure in terms of centralization, formalization, and participation. In other words, while the formalization dimension may aid in the implementation of a focus strategy, a high level of participation in the supply chain governance structure is likely to hinder the implementation of a focus strategy. In contrast, a highly participative channel governance structure may aid with the implementation of both differentiation and price leadership strategies. Moreover, the presence of participation may enhance the effect of centralization on focus and price leadership strategies, and the effect of formalization on a price leadership strategy; but completely counter the positive effect of formalization on a focus strategy. From a normative perspective, if one wants to adopt a focus strategy in a centralized channel network, it is better to have good channel member participation. However, the presence of participation in a centralized channel network may be detrimental for adoption of both differentiation and price leadership strategies. On the other hand, while a formalized channel structure is conducive for the adoption of a focus strategy, presence of channel member participation may hinder its adoption. As well, a high level of channel member participation is likely to enhance the positive effect of formalization on a price leadership strategy. Finally, participation per se has a significant positive effect on both differentiation and price leadership strategies. In summary, any one marketing channel governance structure may not work for all marketing strategies. The findings of this study provide direction to managers faced with the responsibility of managing a marketing channel network as well as developing and implementing a marketing strategy. Obviously, it is tempting to lean towards a highly centralized structure for greater control over the channel, high levels of formalization to reduce the impact of individual quirks, and/or institute a governance structure that encourages high levels of participation among network members. However, our study indicates that managers must be cognizant of the fact that these channel governance structure dimensions have very different effects on the adoption of different marketing strategies—they may have positive synergies with one marketing strategy and negative with another.