The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

An Empirical Study of Important Factors of Value-Added-Reseller Relationship in High-Technology Sales Management: A Dual Perspective

Shuanghong Jenny Niu

Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Science in Technology to be presented with due permission of the Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences for public examination and debate in Auditorium TU2 at Helsinki University of Technology (Espoo, Finland) on the 24th of April, 2009, at 12 noon.

Dissertation in PDF format (ISBN 978-951-22-9826-6)   [1149 KB]
Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 978-951-22-9825-9)


The aim of this study is to contribute to the research on relationship management in companies manufacturing high-technology products with regard to their value-added-resellers (VARs). More specifically, this study tries to fill a significant research gap in applying well-established multi-theories to the important factors of VAR relationship management in a defined context from a dual perspective. Even though it has been recognized that relationship management can cause significant implications for the supplier company with its VARs, there is little theory-based, empirical research that extensively studies the important factors in the VAR relationship from a dual perspective.

Based on a review of literature covering resource/knowledge-based view, social capital theory and transaction cost economics, an integrated model was developed. This study draws on the existing knowledge from other researchers regarding the important factors in the VAR relationship management, and tries to test the existing knowledge in the defined context and also to discover whether there are new factors and what new factors are. More important it is to find out what the differences are towards the same factor from a supplier's and reseller's perspective. Additionally, the importance of each factor at different stages is also compared and discussed. Eventually the order of importance of the factors is discussed. And finally business implications are given to the sales/channel managers in managing the VAR relationship.

Case study is used as the empirical research method. The main data collection methods are: extensive face-to-face interviews; observations during different type of meetings, events, and gatherings; archival documents, as well as the companies' websites. Both qualitative and quantitative data has been collected and analyzed in order to increase the research reliability by providing triangulation data for the results. This dissertation makes important contributions to the literature on VAR relationship management by developing an integrated model based on resources/knowledge-based view, social capital theory and transaction costs of economics. The findings have important implications for the supplier company and its VARs in how to manage their mutual relationship.

Keywords: value-added-resellers, relationship management, dual perspective

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© 2009 Helsinki University of Technology

Last update 2011-05-26