You Don't Always Get What You Want, and You Don’t Always Want What You Get: An Examination of Control – Desire for Control Congruence in Transactional Relationships
Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 100, No. 4, 2015
16 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2015 Last revised: 7 Aug 2016
Date Written: July 1, 2015
In this research we develop a framework to examine the drivers of customers’ desire for control over the sales relationship, and consequences of fit between perceived and desired control. Data collected in a lagged field study of 144 retailer manager (customer)-salesperson dyads were modeled using hierarchical linear modeling and response surface modeling techniques. Results from our analysis reveal that salesperson expertise drives retailers’ desire for control in these relationships. In addition, while incongruence in perceived-desired control was negatively associated with both satisfaction and objective sales, retailer satisfaction was higher when both desired and perceived control were high. Further, as desired and perceived control over the sales relationship both increase, product sales initially decrease, and then increase, exhibiting a “U-shaped” effect. Implications for both theory and practice are discussed. These include adaptive sales training to identify misalignment between desired and perceived control, optimization of cocreation strategies, incorporation of interorganizational relational constructs, exploration of triadic social network configurations, examination of unmet expectations, and the implications of assimilation-contrast theory.
Keywords: response surface modeling, desired control, perceived control, social capital theory, sales outcomes
JEL Classification: M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation