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Channel relationships within and across diverse markets have been investigated for quite some time. Yet findings from these studies over the last forty years or so have been far from conclusive. Channel researchers Runyan, Sternquist, and Chung (forthcoming) investigate interrelationships between the behavioural constructs of role performance, dependence, conflict, satisfaction, and influence strategy in the U.S. and Japanese context. Reading this paper leads credence to the adage, 'The more things change, the more they stay the same.' Indeed, a review of representative comparative channels research literature from the 1980s and post-2000 brings to surface striking similarities in terms of shaky conceptual frameworks, less than robust construct measures, and insufficient caveats in explaining and applying research findings. For channels research to gain relevance in today's globalized marketplace, greater sophistication is necessary in formulating and implementing comparative studies. An overarching framework is necessary to explain, if not incorporate, similarities and differences in channel interactions around the globe.
This document has been peer reviewed.