Title: Dealer-carmaker relationship: the theories of the duality of trust and of power-dependence

Authors: Giancarlo Nadin

Addresses: Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via necchi 7, 20123, Milano, Italy

Abstract: The author advances a double model intended to investigate the relationship between carmakers and dealers. These models, based on international research, are tested in the Italian market and, in particular, in the automotive distribution domain. The results suggest that dealer–carmaker relationships are, at the same time, influenced positively by trust, and negatively by power and conflict. The former leads to a collaborative behaviour by the dealer, the latter, together with calculative commitment, has great effects on the dealer|s behaviour of compliance. As a natural consequence, if carmakers desire and need more complicity and cooperation from their distribution networks, they will need to invest in fairness and in noncoercive behaviour in order to consolidate dealer|s trust.

Keywords: relationship marketing; trust theories; power dependence theories; channel management; automobile industry; automotive manufacturers; car dealers; Italy; automotive distribution; collaboration; compliance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2008.018769

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2008 Vol.8 No.1, pp.71 - 89

Published online: 16 Jun 2008 *

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