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Generating sales while providing service: The moderating effect of the control system on ambidextrous behavior

Valter da Silva Faia (Department of Management, Universidade Estadual de Maringa, Maringa, Brazil)
Valter Afonso Vieira (Department of Management, Universidade Estadual de Maringa, Maringa, Brazil)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 15 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to extend the previous regulatory focus and sales force control literature suggesting that organizational control system not only moderates but also mediates the interactive effect of the assessment × locomotion on salesperson ambidextrous behavior. Organizational control system, which has behavior and outcome dimensions, moderates the effects of employee regulatory focus on their ambidextrous behavior, sales performance, and satisfaction.


The authors conducted a survey with 163 bank frontline employees (FLEs) who sell financial products to final consumers. Each respondent was approached by a professional interviewer who presented the questionnaire and collected the answers. These respondents are FLEs, who are the ones that sell financial services and are responsible for post-sales services, such as answering customer questions and account problems. In the sample, FLEs are the primary source of revenue generation and services activities (ambidextrous features) in banking sector, similar to Bailey et al. (2016).


First, the moderating and mediation analysis showed that the interactive effect of both regulatory focus, locomotion and assessment, predicts FLE ambidextrous behavior. Second, this interaction effect suffers a three-way interaction under organizational control system. Third, organizational control system also moderates the impact of ambidextrous behavior on performance, such that outcome-based control system amplifies the relationship. Fourth, the authors found a conditional indirect effect, in such ambidextrous behavior, mediates the indirect effect of control system on sales performance, generating stronger (vs weaker) results under an outcome-based control system (vs behavior-based control system).

Research limitations/implications

Since this study adopts the cross-sectional research design, the authors could not empirically demonstrate the causality of the relationships among constructs. The authors also analyzed the organizational control system from the FLEs perspective and not from the supervisors/managers perspective, who daily control employees activities.


The authors propose a conditioning indirect mediating impact of control system on performance and consumer satisfaction through ambidextrous behavior and explore the regulatory focus-ambidexterity-performance moderating chain, theorizing that this sequence depends on the level of control system.



This paper is based on the first author’s dissertation, under the supervision of the second author. The authors would like to thank Danny P. Claro, Francisco G.D. Vieira, Juliano Domingues, and Olga M.C. Pépece for their insights on previous version.


Faia, V.d.S. and Vieira, V.A. (2017), "Generating sales while providing service: The moderating effect of the control system on ambidextrous behavior", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 447-471.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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