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Integrated marketing channel relationships: integration dimensions and channel performance

Yoritoshi Hara (School of Commerce, Meiji University, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 15 May 2019

Issue publication date: 7 October 2019




Inter-firm integration is a multidimensional concept. This study aims to examine the performance effects of two aspects of inter-firm integration, coordination integration and authority integration, and their co-alignment with strategic and contextual factors.


The author conducted a quantitative empirical study using survey data of Japanese manufacturing companies’ relationships with their wholesalers to test hypotheses based on a literature review.


Coordination integration has a positive performance effect. There is co-alignment between high (low) coordination integration and high (low) product uniqueness. High (low) coordination integration is associated with high (low) demand uncertainty. High (low) authority integration is consistent with high (low) behavioral uncertainty.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes theoretically to marketing channel and business-to-business marketing literature by holistically examining the linkages among governance forms, marketing-strategic factors, exchange-contextual factors and inter-firm performance. A limitation of this study is that the research data were collected in only one country, Japan. Thus, country-specific factors might affect the analytical outcomes.

Practical implications

Appropriate co-alignment among governance, strategies and contexts significantly influences performance. The findings have significant implications for manufacturing firms’ channel strategies.


This study tests the influences of two distinct dimensions of inter-firm integration on inter-firm outcomes, which few previous studies address. It comprehensively examines the linkages among governance forms, strategic factors, environmental factors and performance.



This paper forms part of a special section “Institutional environment and collaborations/consolidations in B2B”, guest edited by En Xie, Zhi Yang and K.S. Reddy.


Hara, Y. (2019), "Integrated marketing channel relationships: integration dimensions and channel performance", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 1360-1373.



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