Impact of Inventory on Quota-Bonus Contracts with Rent Sharing
Operations Research Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 94 - 98, January-February 2016;
11 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2013 Last revised: 11 Feb 2017
Date Written: July 6, 2015
We study the impact of limited inventory on optimal salesforce compensation contracts. We use the framework of Oyer (2000), characterized by limited liability and rent sharing with the agent. A commonly invoked assumption in the inventory management literature is that the demand distribution satisfies the increasing failure rate (IFR) property. Under this assumption, however, Oyer (2000) shows that a quota-bonus contract -- a widely adopted salesforce compensation contract in the practice -- cannot sustain in equilibrium. We show that due to demand censoring in the presence of limited inventory (i.e., demand realizations higher than the inventory level are unobservable), a quota-bonus contract is the optimal equilibrium contract, and it exists, even for a demand distribution with the IFR property. Since many well-known distributions have the IFR property, and inventory constraints are operative in many real-world situations, our results significantly extend the scope of the optimality of quota-bonus contracts. Our results also underscore the importance of considering the inventory aspect while making salesforce compensation decisions.
Keywords: quota-bonus contract, inventory, demand censoring, IFR distribution
JEL Classification: M31, M11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation