Shrewd channel leadership is required to maximise the benefits and to minimise the many potential problems of exporting through independent overseas distributors. Exporters need to apply effective programmes for distributor recruitment, motivation, support, training, planning, evaluation and control. Recent empirical findings about these issues are, however, scarce. This article provides fresh insights gained in an exploratory study of various dimensions of overseas distributor‐management by British exporters. In terms of recommended practice the findings are equivocal. Distributor recruitment, motivation and evaluation is in general seen as being reasonably well done although there are many areas where scope for improvement is apparent. Distributor training is generally scant and ill‐directed. Areas where improvement may be possible are suggested explicitly and implicitly in the text. Throughout the article, exporters are urged to adopt a “partnership” route to overseas channel management and there is considerable indication in the findings that many of the firms take the kinds of actions embodied in such an approach.
European Journal of Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 1989
Keywords: Recruitment; Motivation; Training; Distribution; Distribution channels; Effectiveness; International marketing; Export
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