Management

Topics: Firm, John Grisham, Partnership Pages: 70 (10540 words) Published: February 4, 2014
A Model of Distributor Firm and Manufacturer Firm Working Partnerships Author(s): James C. Anderson and James A. Narus
Source: Journal of Marketing, Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jan., 1990), pp. 42-58 Published by: American Marketing Association
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James C. Anderson & James A. Narus

A

Model
of
DistributorFirm
and
Manufacturer
Firm

Working Partnerships
A model of distributor firm and manufacturer firm working partnerships is presented and is assessed empirically on a sample of distributor firms and a sample of manufacturer firms. A multiple-informant research method is employed. Support is found for a number of the hypothesized construct relations and, in both manufacturer firm and distributor firm models, for the respecification of cooperation as an antecedent rather than a consequence of trust. Some implications for marketing practice are discussed briefly.

M

ARKETPLACE trends have underscored the
need for a better understanding of working partnerships between manufacturer firms and distributor firms. Sales through wholesaler-distributors have been
growing at a rate faster than the U.S. gross national
product (GNP) and topped the $1.4 trillion mark in
1987 (Arthur Andersen & Co. 1987). In another trend,
significant consolidation is occurring in the wholesale-distribution industry as larger, professionally managed firms acquire smaller "mom-and-pop" firms
at a rapid rate. Finally, end-user or customer firms
have signalled through the growth of systems contracts and preferred vendor programs an increased desire to concentrate their purchases with fewer wholesaler-distributors, to whom they offer longer-term

JamesC.Anderson theWilliam Ford
is
L.
Professor Marketing
of
and
Wholesale
Distribution Associate
and
of
Professor Behavioral
Science
in Management, Kellogg
J. L.
Graduate
School Management,
of
Northwestern
A.
James Narus Associate
is
Professor Manageof
University.
Babcock
Graduate
School Management, Forest
of
Wake
Univerment,
the
of
sity.Theauthors
gratefully
acknowledge financial
support the
Science
and
Institute the Distribution
Research Education
&
Marketing
the
comments suggestions Erin
and
of
Foundation, helpful
Anderson,
F.Robert
Barton
John,Robert
Dwyer, Frazier,
Gary
George
Spekman,
and
JM
and
Weitz, thethreeanonymous reviewers, the assistance
of
Sethuraman theanalysis.
with
Rajagopalan

commitments (Arthur Andersen & Co. 1987). As a
confluent result, manufacturer firms and distributor
firms are involved in fewer, but increasingly significant, working partnerships in which better coordination of marketing and technical activities is essential for their mutual success in the customer marketplace.

In this article, we report a study of distributor and
manufacturer working partnerships, which we define
as the extent to which there is mutual recognition and
understanding that the success of each firm depends
in part on the other firm, with each firm consequently
taking actions so as to provide a coordinated effort
focused on jointly satisfying the requirements of the
customer...

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