When does control curb opportunistic behavior: Evidence from the construction industry

Journal article


Tang, Y., Chen, Y., Yao, H. and Chen, Y. (2023). When does control curb opportunistic behavior: Evidence from the construction industry . Production Planning & Control. https://doi.org/10.1080/09537287.2023.2166882
AuthorsTang, Y., Chen, Y., Yao, H. and Chen, Y.
Abstract

The subcontracting organizational arrangement has received limited attention in designing the control mechanism. This study has explored how managerial controls affect opportunistic behavior and developed a contingency framework to investigate the moderating effect of subcontracting dispersion. By using survey data from 323 general contractors in the Chinese construction industry, this study reveals that both outcome control and clan control curb the occurrence of subcontractors’ opportunistic behaviors while behavior control scarcely helps. Besides, subcontractor dispersion distinctively moderates these relationships. A high level of subcontractor dispersion amplifies the opportunism-curbing effect of outcome control, but attenuates that of clan control, which leads to more opportunistic behaviors. Only at a lower level of subcontractor dispersion will behavior control mitigate subcontractors’ opportunistic behaviors. Our configurational analyses reveal the substitute and complementary relationship between different control modes with different levels of subcontracting dispersion. This study contributes to the literature on governing opportunism and managerial control. The findings guide managers of the general contractor to exploit appropriate managerial controls to curb opportunistic behaviors across different organizational designs.

KeywordsSubcontracting, Opportunistic behavior, Organizational arrangement,Managerial control, Construction industry.
Year2023
JournalProduction Planning & Control
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1366-5871
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09537287.2023.2166882
Publication dates
Print17 Jan 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted25 Oct 2022
Deposited17 Nov 2022
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Additional information

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Production Planning and Control on 17/01/2023, available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09537287.2023.2166882

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