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Conflicts between different levels within the same channel. Example : HUL came into a conflict with its distributors in Kerela on the issue of Commission
when multiple channels are employed and distribution intensity increases, three profit threats may confront a retailer: sales cannibalization margin dilution customer diversion
marketing Channel conflict
Marketing Channels are not just economic
Marketing Channels are also Social Systems
Therefore, the same behavioral processes existing
in all Social systems also exist in Marketing
in Marketing channels
The behavioral processes of most relevance to
marketing channels are:
When one Party perceives the behavior
of another party in the social system to
be impeding the attainment of its goals,
a state of conflict exists.
Conflict is generated when actions of any
channel member come in the way of the
system achieving its objectives.
Three broad categories of channel conflict are:
Goal conflict – understanding of objectives by
various channel members is different.
Domain conflict – understand responsibilities and
Perception conflict – reading of the market place is
different and proposed actions vary.
Each channel member wanting to pursue his
Each wants to retain his independence.
There are limited resources which all of them
want to utilize in achieving their goals.
Features of conflicts:
Initially latent and does not affect the working
Is not normally possible to detect till it becomes
conflict coMPared to
Conflict ≠ Competition
Conflict > Competition
Four StageS oF
Each stage is progressively more severe than the earlier one.
StageS oF conFlictS
Some amount of discord exists but does not affect the
working or delivery of customer service objectives.
Disagreement could be on roles, expectations,
Discords become noticeable – channel partners are
aware of the opposition.
Channel members take the situation in their stride and
go about their normal business.
No cause for worry but the opposition has to be
StageS oF conFlictS
Reaching the stage of worry, concern and alarm.
Also known as ‘affective’ conflict.
Parties are trying to outsmart each other.
Causes could be economical or personal.
Needs to be managed effectively and not allowed
Reflects open antagonistic behaviour of channel
partners. Confrontation results.
Initiatives taken are openly opposed affecting the
performance of the channel system.
May require outside intervention to resolve.
cauSeS oF channel
Decision Damping Disagreements
typeS oF channel
A 4 Stage Process
Understanding nature and intensity
Tracing the source of the conflict
Understand the impact of the conflict
Strategy and plan of action for resolution
Styles are a combination
of assertiveness and
Least effort and
Maximum effort and
Used by weak channel members.
Problem is postponed or discussion avoided.
Relationships are not of much importance.
As there is no serious effort on getting anything
done, conflict is avoided.
Also known as a competitive or selfish style.
It means being concerned about one’s own goals without
any thought for the others.
The dominating channel partner (may be the principal)
dictates terms to the others. Long term could be
detrimental to the system.
A situation of complete surrender.
One party helps the other achieve its goals without
being worried about its own goals.
Emphasis is on full co-operation and flexibility in
approach. May generate matching feelings in the
If not handled properly, can result in exploitation.
Obviously both sides have to give up something
to meet mid way.
Can only work with small and not so serious
Used often in the earlier two stages.
Also known as a problem solving approach.
Tries to maximize the benefit to both parties while solving
Most ideal style of conflict resolution – a win-win approach.
Requires a lot of time and effort to succeed.
Sensitive information may have to be shared.
The capacity of one channel member
to get another channel member to do
something that he otherwise would not
role in marketing
Set Prescriptions defining what
the behavior of a position
member should be.
Flow of information that enables
channel members to send and