A measurement model of the dimensions and types of informal organizational control: An empirical test in a B2B sales context

Stacey L. Malek*, Shikhar Sarin, Bernard J. Jaworski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Sales organizations are replete with informal forms of organizational control. Despite this, marketing and management literature has primarily focused on the theoretical development and empirical testing of formal, managerial forms of control. One reason research on informal controls has lagged is a lack of comprehensive measurement scales. Specifically, existing measures of the three principal types of informal controls—self, social, and cultural—do not capture the full dimensionality of the constructs (i.e., information, reward, and punishment aspects of informal controls). The authors take steps to remedy this situation by (1) outlining nine distinct dimensional types of informal control based on organizational control theory, (2) developing scales to measure the nine informal control constructs in a qualitative field study with 28 B2B salespeople, and (3) empirically validating the scales by establishing their psychometric properties and nomological validity using data collected from a diverse panel of 750 B2B salespeople.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-442
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Research in Marketing
Issue number2
Early online date19 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding & Acknowledgements:
We would like to acknowledge and thank the Sales Education Foundation (SEF) and Boise State University (BSU) – College
of Business and Economics Summer Research Grants for funds granted in support of this research. SEF and BSU were not
involved in any other aspects of this research. Special thanks to Ajay Kohli, Corinne Faure, David Gotteland, and Christophe
Haon for their helpful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


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