Antecedents of locus of causality attributions for destructive acts in distribution channels
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Destructive acts in distribution channels are actions by firms that have a significant adverse impact on the viability or functioning of channel members. Understanding an affected channel member’s locus of causality attributions for a destructive act can help the initiating firm determine when, where and how to proactively mitigate the adverse consequences of the act. We incorporate insights from interdependence and attribution theories to develop a theoretical framework of antecedents of locus of causality for such acts. We empirically evaluate our hypotheses using survey data from key informants on both sides of supplier-retailer dyads for a Fortune 500 company. We find that interdependence structure, perceived intensity and perceived frequency of destructive acts have implications for causal attributions made by the affected firm (retailer). Further, we find evidence for the impact of relationship quality on causal attributions (including the role it plays in amplifying the effects of other antecedents).
Valuation Insight: Firms may be forced by emergent threats or promising opportunities to engage in actions that have adverse effects on its partners in distribution channels, thus destroying value. To proactively mitigate the damage it is important for firms to be aware of and influence the causal attribution of their actions by limiting the frequency of such actions, developing its relationships with channel partners, and identifying vulnerable distribution channel relationships.
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