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Chekitan S. Dev, Stephan Grzeskowiak and James R. Brown published “Opportunism in Brand Partnerships : Effects of Coercion and Relationship Norms” in the November 2011 issue.
Brand partner opportunism—deceptive or guileful behavior to gain an advantage—is a threat to a successful brand partnership. In this study, the authors examined the effects of coercive and noncoercive tactics for preventing opportunism as those tactics are influenced by relational norms—mutually held standards of behavior that support close relationships. In a survey of 367 hotel general managers from two large hotel brands, the authors found that, in partnerships characterized by strong relational norms, coercive influence strategies, such as threats, promises, or legalistic pleas, are less effective at limiting opportunism than are noncoercive strategies, such as information exchange, recommendations, or requests, which are more effective. In contrast, when relational norms are weak, the authors found that coercive strategies are more effective than are noncoercive strategies. However, regardless of the nature of the relationship, the GMs reported that coercive techniques work only briefly and are ineffective over the long term. Thus, considering the nature of the hotel industry, noncoercive strategies are more likely to benefit brand headquarters’ efforts to limit brand partner opportunism.
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