Interpersonal influence as an alternative channel communication behavior in emerging markets : The case of China

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-689
Journal / PublicationJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


Channel communications in emerging markets are embedded in the intricacy of economic and sociocultural environments. Managing channel relationships in emerging markets therefore requires more than formal interfirm communication to rely on interpersonal influence. Extending embeddedness theory, we offer a conceptualization incorporating three embedding elements - task environment, social relations, and institutional norms - into a preliminary model that specifies the antecedents, moderators, and contingent consequences of interpersonal influence strategies in marketing channels. Specifically, dependence, firm boundary spanners social capital, and their cultural values (e.g., guanxi orientation) may combine to shape firm boundary spanners use of interpersonal influence in channel communications, which in turn affects channel member satisfaction. In a Chinese marketing channel context, we test our research hypotheses with parallel analyses of 395 matched supplier-retailer dyads. The empirical results provide general support for the predictions, and reveal differences between suppliers and retailers in terms of the focal effects. © 2009 Academy of International Business.

Research Area(s)

  • Guanxi orientation, Interfirm influence strategies, Interpersonal influence