Dr. Alok Kumar, associate professor of marketing and W. W. Marshall College Professor, explores the existing literature on American multinational corporations (MNCs) within marketing. Although MNCs represent a common and complex organizational form, there is little research devoted to channel management from an MNC perspective. Aiming to address this gap, Kumar and his co-authors, including Dr. Amit Saini, professor of marketing and W. W. Marshall College Professor at Nebraska, propose an organizing framework to spur and guide further research. For practitioners, their integrative piece suggests three elements MNCs should consider in managing their foreign distribution channels: the headquarter-subsidiary relationship, the subsidiary-channel partner relationship, and the local institutions and legal differences of the countries in which the channels operate.
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Multinational corporations (MNCs) are adopting increasingly diverse and complex marketing channels to sell their products worldwide. They strive to manage channels that confront diverse demands from headquarters, foreign subsidiaries, and local partners as well as complex market environments. Because extant research on MNCs’ marketing channels is sparse, the authors propose an organizing framework to spur and guide research on MNC channel management. As a meta-theory that integrates economic and social elements of MNC channel management, the political economy perspective is used to propose two testable frameworks pertaining to determinants of (1) MNC marketing channel structures and processes and (2) MNC marketing channel outcomes. Building on these frameworks, the authors advance a research agenda to test substantive relationships, elaborate new constructs, and illustrate new contexts pertaining to MNC marketing channels. A set of propositions illustrates the applicability of these conceptual frameworks.
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