Electronic channel affiliates are important online intermediaries between customers and host retailers. However, no work has studied how online retailers control online intermediaries. By conducting an exploratory content analysis of 85 online contracts between online retailers and their online intermediaries, and categorizing the governing mechanisms used, insights into the unique aspects of the control of online intermediaries are presented. Findings regarding incentives, monitoring, and enforcement are presented. Additionally, testable research propositions are presented to guide further theory development, drawing on contract theory, resource dependence theory and agency theory. Managerial implications are discussed.
- electronic channel affiliates
- host retailers