V. (Paddy) Padmanabhan
Professor of Marketing
Marketing Channels refer to the set of interdependent organizations that are involved in making a product or service available to the consumers.These are the set of institutions that are involved in taking a product or service from its point of production to the point of consumption (Coughlan, Anderson, Stern and El-Ansary 2001). Channels are increasingly being viewed as a key strategic asset because of their ability in creating a sustainable differential advantage relative to competition (Stern and Weitz 1997).The focus of this paper is on game-theoretic approaches to understanding channel interactions and performance. The intent of this article is to review the substantial, growing, and important literature on strategic interactions in channels of distribution, their implications for contractual relationships between independent parties at successive stages in a vertical channel and their consequences for performance of the various channel institutions as well as the overall channel.