Low Stakes Opportunism

43 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2012

See all articles by Sandy D. Jap

Sandy D. Jap

Emory University - Department of Marketing

Diana Robertson

University of Pennsylvania - Legal Studies Department

Aric Rindfleisch

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ryan Hamilton

Emory University

Date Written: October 19, 2012

Abstract

In this research, the authors develop a theory for why people act opportunistically when the stakes (i.e., payoffs) are low. Transaction cost theory suggests that opportunistic behavior is more likely under high stakes conditions. The authors identify rapport as an important moderator of this relationship. Through a series of three studies, they find that high stakes opportunism appears to occur only when rapport is low. In contrast, when rapport is high, this relationship reverses, such that opportunism is actually more likely when the stakes are low than when the stakes are high. The authors attribute these findings to differences in reasoning and find that when rapport is high and the stakes are low, managers are better able to justify their actions by employing morally malleable reasoning. Thus, this research offers insights into an important form of opportunism that has been largely absent from transaction cost theory.

Keywords: opportunism, interorganizational exchange, buyers and sellers, self-concept maintenance, relationship marketing, transaction cost theory

Suggested Citation

Jap, Sandy D. and Robertson, Diana and Rindfleisch, Aric and Hamilton, Ryan, Low Stakes Opportunism (October 19, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2164440 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2164440

Sandy D. Jap (Contact Author)

Emory University - Department of Marketing ( email )

Goizueta Business School
1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Diana Robertson

University of Pennsylvania - Legal Studies Department ( email )

3730 Walnut Street
Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Aric Rindfleisch

University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

HOME PAGE: http://research3.bus.wisc.edu/course/view.php?id=156

Ryan Hamilton

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

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