Information Asymmetry Between Salesperson and Supervisor: Postulates from Agency and Social Exchange Theories

Ramaswami, Sridhar N.; Srinivasan, Srini S.; Gorton, Stephen A.
June 1997
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Summer97, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p29
Academic Journal
Sales employees generally do not share all of the performance information that they are privy to with their supervisors. This leads to information asymmetries that they can use for personal gain. This study examines the antecedents and consequences of information asymmetry in a performance evaluation setting. A major feature of the study is the use of two theories�namely, agency theory and social exchange theory�for explaining the level of information asymmetry between salespeople and their supervisors. Empirical results indicate that social exchange theory is more useful in explaining the occurrence of information asymmetry. The study also examines the dual role played by control systems in reducing asymmetry and promoting dysfunctional behaviors of salespeople.


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