Marketing Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

1997

Publication Source

MIT Sloan Management Review

Volume

38

Issue

4

Start Page

59

Last Page

69

Abstract

When choosing distribution channels, companies need to rely on design principles that are aligned with their overall competitive strategy.

Accelerating technological change, heightened marketplace demands, more aggressive global competition, and shifts in the workforce and population demographics are affecting distribution channels, forcing companies to reconsider fundamental assumptions about how they reach their markets. The magnitude of change demands a strategic perspective that views channel decisions as choices from a continually changing array of alternatives for achieving market coverage and competitive advantage — subject, of course, to the constraints of cost, investment, and flexibility. Tactical responses, based on maintaining power balances, managing conflicts, and minimizing transaction costs to pursue greater efficiency, will not suffice.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Originally published in MIT Sloan Management Review © 1997 MIT Press.

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Date Posted: 15 June 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.