Risk Reduction and Informal Interpersonal Influence: Industrial Marketing Management Perspectives

Article excerpt

Risk Reduction and Informal Interpersonal Influence: Industrial Marketing Management Perspectives

Perceived risk has been an integral part of the buying behavior literature for several decades. The seminal work by Bauer [4] set the stage for definitively including the component of risk in the buying decision. Managing, controlling, and monitoring perceived levels of risk have been of paramount concern to practitioners in general and industrial marketing managers in particular. Given that many of the purchases in the industrial sector are big-ticket items with considerable technical complexities and inherently more risk, industrial marketers have a vested interest in gaining additional insight into the phenomenon of perceived risk.

Of particular concern in the current study is the role of informal interpersonal influence on the level of perceived risk experienced by the organizational buyer in a new-task situation. Given that the organizational buyer plays the vital role of influencer in the buying process, it is essential to concentrate on methods of managing risk. This position of influence has been highlighted from both the perspective of the macro-model [e.g., 28, 31, 38] and the micro-model point of view [e.g., 5, 24, 36, 39].

Inherent to both the macro-models and the micro-models of organizational buyer behavior is the significance of informal interpersonal influences on the level of risk perceived by buyers [10, 21, 28, 31, 32]. Specifically, the macro-models have provided the market planner with a generalized perspective of organizational buying; however, they fail to provide adequate empirical evidence to substantiate the posited relationships [29]. The present investigation seeks to provide such commission costs. The one percent commission costs incorporated in the second investment test eliminate the before-commission cost excess returns found in the first investment test. These results on the underlying common stocks of takeover target firms are consistent with previous studies [1,2,5,7,11], which find that the majority of the excess returns generated by a takeover announcement accrue to the target firms on or before the first public announcement.

Finally, the results of this study are similar to the previous study by Reilly and Gustavson [8], which focused on investigating in the options of firms announcing stock splits. They found that abnormal returns net of commission costs are available on the options of firms announcing splits; however, these returns were not available on the underlying common stocks of these firms. an empirical test by examining the impact of informal interorganizational and intraorganizational influences on the buyer's level of perceived risk.


The reliance upon external sources of information to aid the organizational buyer in the decision process concerning a new-task purchase is well recognized [3, 15, 21, 27, 32, 38, 44]. The use of these sources of information may be viewed as a way of decreasing the level of perceived risk associated with the new-task purchase. Additionally, it should be pointed out that these information sources may originate either inside or outside the organizational buyer's firm. The two are not to be considered mutually exclusive as many times it is a combination of both internal and external information that is sought [6, 13, 14, 17, 18, 21, 22, 44]. The degree of influence attributed to these informal sources has been shown to vary along a continuum anchored by "certainty" and "uncertainty" (or "perceived risk") [7, 9, 40]. Generally, it may be concluded that the greater the perception of risk associated with the new-task buying situation, the greater reliance is placed on the informal communication source [28, 38].


Perceived Risk

Many views have been forwarded concerning the various components that make up perceived risk; however, it is possible to combine these views into three diverse and unique categories: (a) performance risk, (b) social risk, and (c) financial risk [23, 25, 30, 33, 38, 41]. …


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