Grounded exploration of sales and distribution channel structures in thirteen industries in India
Baker, Michael J.
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Innovation is a fundamental virtue of marketing. In this paper, a case is made to promote the use of innovative and novel combinations of research methodologies to derive new insights of business phenomena. This study is an attempt to understand and explain the sales and distribution channel structures in thirteen different industries in India. The investigation adopted a mix of case research and grounded theoretic research methodologies in exploring the subject under scrutiny. The study offers a classification scheme for grouping marketing channels into homogenous clusters based on similarity/dissimilarity using multivariate multidimensional mapping techniques. This scheme offers to explain the variety found in structures and suggests alternative channel possibilities. Such a scheme can be used in formulating marketing strategies and in deciding upon operational issues as well. While the main setting of the reported findings is Indian, the findings may prove to be useful beyond the national setting. Usual disclaimers associated with qualitative research methodology (Gummesson 1988) apply in this case concerning the generalisability and validity of the findings. This paper s contribution is not as much in offering a schema as it is in suggesting an analytical plan/process that helps in visualising structures and associated strategies de novo.
- Working Papers