How manufacturers select distributors who can contribute to distribution efficiency has become an important issue for channel management. While the last decade has seen large shifts in manufacturing and distribution practices, there has been very little empirical research investigating manufacturers' selection of distributors. This study attempts to fill this research gap by proposing and empirically evaluating factors important to manufacturers when selecting distributors.
The study developed a research framework for manufacturers' selection of distributors. Four key constructs were derived from marketing, supply chain, and logistics literature to investigate their influences on distributor selection: firm infrastructure, marketing capabilities, relationship intensity, and logistics capabilities. Four hypotheses were developed and tested with a sample of Taiwanese information technology (IT) manufacturers.
Multi‐item scales were developed and validated through standard psychometric procedures. Hypotheses were tested with ordinary least squares regression analysis. The four constructs were found to have positive influences on manufacturers' selection of distributors.
The paper represents the first study to propose and empirically test a research model examining factors affecting manufacturers' selection of distributors. Distributors can strengthen their competitive advantage by improving their competence in the four dimensions.
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