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Preference for action: regulatory mode in B2B positioning decision-making

Stavros P. Kalafatis (Department of Strategy, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Kingston Business School, Kingston upon Thames, UK)
Charles Blankson (Department of Marketing, Logistics and Operations Management, G. Brint Ryan College of Business, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA and Department of Marketing, College of Business Administration, Ajman University, Ajman, UAE)
Marvyn Luxly Boatswain (Department of Strategy, Marketing and Innovation, Kingston University, London, UK)
Markos H. Tsogas (Department of Business Administration, University of Piraeus, Piraeus, Greece)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Publication date: 8 May 2020



Grounded 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.


Data 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.


Both 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.


To 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.



Kalafatis, S.P., Blankson, C., Boatswain, M.L. and Tsogas, M.H. (2020), "Preference for action: regulatory mode in B2B positioning decision-making", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 12, pp. 2111-2125.



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