PurposeGrounded in regulatory mode theory (RMT), this study aims to investigate the impact of managers’ orientation for action (locomotion and assessment) in business-to-business positioning decision-making.Design/methodology/approachData are collected using a scenario-based experimental design. Study 1 examines whether interest and involvement in recommending a positioning strategy depends on a manager’s regulatory mode orientation. The impact of such orientations on the likelihood of changing a recommended positioning strategy is the focus of Study 2. The moderating effects of task motivation (expected rewards resulting from a recommendation), market feedback and the line manager’s leadership style are examined.FindingsBoth assessment and locomotion are significant determinants of involvement in recommending a positioning strategy. The introduction of motivation as a moderator helps explain differences in level of interest in positioning decision-making. Locomotion, but not assessment, affects the likelihood of changing a recommended positioning strategy. Assessment amplifies the impact of locomotion, while none of the interaction effects between regulatory mode orientation and contextual factors is a significant determinant of changing a positioning strategy.Originality/valueTo the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first application of RMT on positioning decision-making. Results from two experiments provide novel insights into the predictive relevance of managers’ preference in terms of involvement with the decision-making process and the likelihood of altering positioning.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 8, 2020
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