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Conflict management in dual distribution channel systems: the moderating role of learning capabilities

Ryuta Ishii (Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics, Fukui Prefectural University, Fukui, Japan and Graduate School of Business and Commerce, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan)

Journal of Asia Business Studies

ISSN: 1558-7894

Article publication date: 20 February 2020

Issue publication date: 15 June 2020



In dual distribution channel systems, integrated channels (manufacturer-owned) and independent channels (distributor-owned) are likely to adopt destructive behaviours. To suppress such behaviours, manufacturers need to implement conflict management systems. The purpose of this study is to examine the moderating role of conflict-learning capability (CLC) in the relationship between conflict management system and destructive behaviour. This study also investigates whether interactions between conflict management systems and CLC improve the overall channel performance.


Using survey data from 157 Japanese industrial manufacturers, this study conducted regression analyses and mediation analyses.


The results show that boundary and compensation systems have different effects on destructive behaviours. On the one hand, compensation systems with strong CLC have a larger impact, although those with weak CLC can also suppress destructive behaviours to some degree. On the other hand, boundary systems with strong CLC suppress destructive behaviours, but those with weak CLC do not. In addition, this study reveals that manufacturers with strong CLC can indirectly improve overall channel performance by implementing conflict management systems and suppressing destructive behaviours.


Previous studies reveal that boundary and compensation systems suppress destructive behaviours. However, these studies neglect the importance of organisational capability in the successful implementation of conflict management systems. By focusing on CLC, this study advances our understanding of dual distribution and channel conflict.



The author would like to thank Professor Akinori Ono for his helpful assistance and valuable comments. The author also thanks Professor John W. Cadogan, Professor Tomokazu Kubo, Professor Yoritoshi Hara and two anonymous reviewers for providing constructive suggestions and valuable comments. This study was financially supported by JSPS KAKENHI (Grant Number JP17J03156).


Ishii, R. (2020), "Conflict management in dual distribution channel systems: the moderating role of learning capabilities", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 525-540.



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