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EMAC 2023 Annual

Consequences of Role Management for B2B Collaboration Initiation

Published: May 24, 2023


Sophie Feldner, Goethe University Frankfurt - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration - Marketing Department; Torsten Bornemann, Goethe University Frankfurt; Dominik Hettich, Goethe University Frankfurt


Personal preferences and recent developments in work organization (e.g., working from home) are blurring the distinction between individuals’ roles in- and outside the work domain. Given the difficulty of strictly separating non-work and work roles, personal factors may thus become more likely to influence professional roles and affect important business decisions. Prior research on decision-making in the business-to-business (B2B) context has paid little attention to the fact that individuals might be influenced by the roles they occupy in their personal life. Drawing on role and boundary theory, we investigate in two experimental studies how role management affects decisions on initiating B2B collaborations. Our findings reveal that differences in psychological role separation preferences can explain choices about business partners. Moreover, we find that the influence of role management on professional decision-making is even more pronounced for highly experienced employees.