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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Business | 2015
Thesis number: 14256
Effective management of sales channels - A case study of distributor sales channels in international markets
Author: Engström-Häivälä, Sara
Title: Effective management of sales channels - A case study of distributor sales channels in international markets
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; myynti; sales; jakelu; distribution; sitoutuminen; commitment; luottamus; trust; yhteistyö; cooperation; markkinat; markets
Pages: 86
Key terms: sales channel, distributor, communication, commitment, trust, cooperation

The objective of this study is to analyze how multinational companies can effectively manage their distributor sales channels in international markets. The research focus is on socio-psychological aspects of trust, communication, and commitment. The aim of the study was specifically to understand the prevailing situation in the given sales channel dyads in order to decide strategically important actions for the future.

Methods In this research a single case study approach was used. Empirical data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with the case company representatives and its international distributors as well as the distributors' end-customers. The collected data was evaluated by following the directed content analysis after which the theoretical framework was constructed and validated.


The research suggests that communication, commitment and trust are the key factors for managing the cooperation efficiently, especially when counterparts represent different cultures, language groups, and perceptions of life. Furthermore, constructive and collaborative problem solving strengthens the relationship even when difficulties arise. Finally, all the concepts are enforcing each other; with better communication trust is built up and commitment to the success of the partnership increases.
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