, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 24-43

Two sides to attitudinal commitment: The effect of calculative and loyalty commitment on enforcement mechanisms in distribution channels

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Previous conceptualizations of attitudinal commitment are extended by considering two very different components of a manufacturer's attachment to an independent channel intermediary. Relying on commitment theory, a model is developed that describes how attitudinal commitment may reside in either the instrumental or the social strain of a manufacturer's relationship with its distributor. For each strain, the developmental role played by key facets of the channel setting—relative dependence, pledges, and trust—are shown. Furthermore, the nature of the attachment bond is posited to motivate very different governance mechanisms as the distribution agreement is enforced by either social or contractual means. Empirical support for the model demonstrates that an expanded view of attitudinal commitment is important in understanding the complex nature of attachment in channel relationships.

David I. Gilliland is an assistant professor of marketing at Colorado State University. He received his Ph.D. in marketing from Georgia State University. He has published articles on governance and control of domestic and international channel relationships in the Journal of Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, and other journals.
Daniel C. Bello is the Round Table Research Professor of Marketing at Georgia State University. His research interests include distribution strategy in domestic and international channel systems. He has published widely in professional journals and currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of International Marketing, the Journal of Business Research, and the Journal of Marketing Management (United Kingdom).