Manufacturer-overseas distributor relationships and export performance: An empirical study.

  • Philip J. Rosson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The exporting arrangement which makes use of overseas distributors is examined in this dissertation. This method of foreign market entry and operation is widely employed, being of particular significance to smaller-sized manufacturers, and those relatively new to international marketing. However, although much in evidence, concerns are expressed about performance levels which are achieved under such arrangements. This question of performance is the central issue explored in this research. In the first part of the thesis, the argument is made that a strong link exists between the performance level attained and the very nature of the manufacturer-overseas distributor relationship. In other words, if a particular kind of relationship is developed, export success is more likely to occur. Such a finding would be of obvious interest to firms involved in trading arrangements of this kind. The second part of the thesis follows logically from the first. Here, factors that help to shape the manufacturer - overseas distributor relationship itself are considered. It is asserted that the characteristics of such relationships are themselves associated with three firm and environment-related factors. Thus, (1) the stake the two companies have in the relationship, (2) their international trading experience, and (3) the uncertainty that surrounds the transaction process, are each held to shape the manufacturer - overseas relationship. The study is based on data collected in 42 companies - 21 Canadian manufacturers and their 21 U.K. distributors. The research findings largely corroborate the thesis advanced, and provide useful empirical evidence about this important exporting arrangement.
Date of Award1983
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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