The performance implications of perceptual differences of dependence in marketing channels : The mediating role of trust

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

5 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-364
Journal / PublicationAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address two essential questions: do perceptual differences regarding dependence matter in determining channel performance, and if so, how?

Design/methodology/approach – The paper conducted an empirical study of 347 cellular telephone supplier-retailer dyads in China. A questionnaire survey was employed.

Findings – The results reveal that a retailer’s perceptual difference of dependence exerts a significant effect on its evaluation of supplier performance only. Retailer trust partially mediates the effect of the perceptual differences on supplier performance and retailer performance. Therefore, the particular side of a dyadic relationship that researchers choose to study matters in an unbalanced dependence relationship.

Practical implications – Managers, depending on their side, should pay close attention to perceptual differences and their consequences and deliberately employ different strategies to ensure effective channel management.

Originality/value – Do differences in parties’ perceptions of dependence influence channel performance? If they do, how do these perceived differences exert direct and indirect impacts? By answering these questions, the authors contribute not only to an understanding of the unique nature of dyadic channel relationships but also to methodological notions about whether to study one side in a dyad.

Research Area(s)

  • B2B marketing, Channel relationships, Marketing in China