Turning Agents into Psychological Principals: Aligning Interests of Non‐Owners Through Psychological Ownership
28 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2013
Date Written: May 2013
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
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