Turning Agents into Psychological Principals: Aligning Interests of Non‐Owners Through Psychological Ownership

28 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2013

See all articles by Philipp Sieger

Philipp Sieger

University of Bern

Thomas Zellweger

University of St. Gallen - Center for Family Business; Babson College - Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

Karl F. Aquino

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics

Date Written: May 2013

Abstract

Principals who delegate tasks to agents face the perennial challenge of overcoming agency problems. We investigate whether feelings of ownership among senior managers in the absence of formal ownership can align agents' interests with those of principals, thus turning agents into psychological principals. Using a moderated mediation model, we find that psychological ownership is positively related to company performance through the mediating effect of individual‐level entrepreneurial behaviour. We also find that the effect of psychological ownership on individual‐level entrepreneurial behaviour and, ultimately, company performance is weaker for high levels of monitoring compared to low levels. These findings offer important contributions to agency, psychological ownership, and entrepreneurship literatures.

Keywords: agency theory, interest alignment, psychological ownership, psychological principals

Suggested Citation

Sieger, Philipp and Zellweger, Thomas and Aquino, Karl F., Turning Agents into Psychological Principals: Aligning Interests of Non‐Owners Through Psychological Ownership (May 2013). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 50, Issue 3, pp. 361-388, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2253150 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joms.12017

Philipp Sieger

University of Bern ( email )

Gesellschaftsstrasse 49
Bern, BERN 3001
Switzerland

Thomas Zellweger

University of St. Gallen - Center for Family Business ( email )

Varnbuelstr. 14
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000
Switzerland
+41 71 224 71 42 (Phone)
+41 71 224 71 01 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kmu.unisg.ch/org/kmu/web.nsf/wwwPubPersonGer/90349757A26ABCBFC125716B0046D6EE

Babson College - Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

231 Forest Street
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States

Karl F. Aquino

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics ( email )

419 Purnell Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States
302-831-6144 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
646
PlumX Metrics