Business-to-Business Decision Making


Psychological Micro-Foundations, Special issue of Industrial Marketing Management; Deadline 31 Jan 2018


Call for Papers

Special issue on Psychological Micro-Foundations of Business-to-Business Decision Making

Deadline: 31 January, 2018

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the psychological micro-foundations of marketing and management phenomena (e.g., Hadjikhani & LaPlaca, 2013; Hodkinson & Healey, 2014; Powell, Lovallo & Fox, 2011). There are at least two reasons for this. First, research at lower levels of analysis is a natural extension of the research conducted at higher levels of analysis, and provides a more fine-grained explanation of the higher-level phenomena (e.g., Teece, 2007). Second, psychological theories are able to explain a different part of the variance than rational/economic theories (e.g., Levinthal, 2011), and thus they make a significant contribution to the explanatory power of the literature. Hence, our literature is also likely to benefit from a better understanding of the psychological micro-foundations of B2B phenomena.

Within the emerging literature on psychological micro-foundations, interest is also growing in the traits and individual differences perspective (e.g., Antonakis, Day & Schyns, 2012). Indeed, the fact that these stable or relatively stable variables can explain and predict behaviors and outcomes across different contexts and time periods makes them crucial for purposes such as personnel selection. Numerous examples can be given of individual differences that affect behaviors and relationships. For instance, variables such as emotional intelligence and personality traits play an important role in successful relationships and business outcomes (Lopes, Salovey & Straus, 2003; O’Boyle, Humphrey, Pollack, Hawver & Story, 2011). Likewise, there are many physiological traits that are related to psychological variables. For instance, certain body ratios (e.g., fWHR; 2d-4d ratio), hormones and neurological properties have recently been found to affect behavior and outcomes (e.g., Aspara & van den Bergh, 2014; Durante, Griskevicius, Cantu & Simpson, 2014; Wong, Ormiston & Haselhuhn, 2011). However, most of these variables have not yet been examined sufficiently in B2B contexts. In other words, we know little about how such variables affect supplier behavior, buyer behavior and supplier-buyer relationships in B2B markets.

In this special issue, we will be focusing on empirical and conceptual papers that examine how supplier behavior, buyer behavior or the relationship between them might be explained in terms of either (1) individual or collective psychological concepts, (2) stable psychological traits or trait-like differences, or (3) physiological traits that have an effect on psychological variables. Likewise, as illustrated in the examples below, we will consider as relevant for this issue both papers focusing on a specific level of analysis (e.g., individual, group, management team etc.) and multi-level studies. All in all, with this special issue, we aim to take a step towards a better understanding of the psychological factors and processes underlying B2B decisions.

Potential topics include:

Individual and collective psychological concepts such as:

  • The effects of individual or collective regulatory focus of the supplier, buyer or both (e.g., regulatory fit, mismatch)
  • The effects of identity-related variables (e.g., self-construal, self-efficacy) at the individual or team level
  • Values of the supplier, buyer or both (e.g., materialistic values, attitude to money, hedonistic/utilitarian values)
  • Behavioral integration of the supplier team, buyer team or both
  • Goal orientation
  • Temporal focus
  • Mood
  • Choice overload
  • Emotional contagion

Stable psychological traits or trait-like differences such as:

  • The effects of chronic regulatory focus or regulatory mode of the supplier, buyer or both
  • The effects of personality traits of the key individual(s) on the supplier side, buyer side or both
  • The effects of dark-triad personality traits of the key individual(s)
  • Intelligence-related variables (e.g., cognitive, emotional or social intelligence, need for cognition)
  • Composition of the B2B supplier teams, buyer teams or both in terms of psychological differences (e.g., personality trait compositions, regulatory focus compositions)
  • Differences in background variables, such as age, culture and family background
  • Multilevel outcomes of the individual differences

Physiological traits such as:

  • Physical appearance of the supplier, buyer or both (e.g., facial morphology, voice characteristics, height and body ratios)
  • Composition of the B2B supplier teams, buyer teams or both in terms of physiological differences (e.g., facial structure, height, gender).
  • Genetic properties of the supplier, buyer or both (e.g., DAT1 and COMT genes)
  • Endocrinological properties (e.g., testosterone, cortisol, oxytocin)
  • Gender and gender-related variables
  • Neurological properties (e.g., human leukocyte antigen DQB1*0602)

Submission Procedures

To submit a paper please visit the IMM editorial site register as an author and submit the paper as the site will instruct you. When you get to the step in the process that asks you for the type of paper, select SI: Psychological Micro-foundations. All papers will be reviewed through the standard double-blind peer review process of IMM. In preparation of their manuscripts, authors are asked to follow the Author Guidelines closely. A guide for authors, sample articles and other relevant information for submitting papers are available at:

Submission deadline: 31 January 2018. Send your paper and cover letter as MSWord attachments to the guest editors, with a copy to the IMM Editor.

All queries about the special issue should be sent to the Guest Editors at the following address:

Special Issue Editors


Antonakis, J., Day, D. V., & Schyns, B. (2012). Leadership and individual differences: At the cusp of a renaissance. Leadership Quarterly, 23(4), 643-650.

Aspara, J., & Van Den Bergh, B. (2014). Naturally designed for masculinity vs. femininity? Prenatal testosterone predicts male consumers’ choices of gender-imaged products. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 31(1), 117-121.

Durante, K. M., Griskevicius, V., Cantu, S. M., & Simpson, J. A. (2014). Money, status, and the ovulatory cycle. Journal of Marketing Research, 51(1), 27-39.

Hadjikhani, A., & LaPlaca, P. (2013). Development of B2B marketing theory. Industrial Marketing Management, 42(3), 294-305.

Hodgkinson, G. P., & Healey, M. P. (2014). Coming in from the cold: The psychological foundations of radical innovation revisited. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(8), 1306-1313.

Levinthal, D. A. (2011). A behavioral approach to strategy—what’s the alternative? Strategic Management Journal, 32(13), 1517-1523.

Lopes, P. N., Salovey, P., & Straus, R. (2003). Emotional intelligence, personality, and the perceived quality of social relationships. Personality and individual Differences, 35(3), 641-658.

O’Boyle, E. H., Humphrey, R. H., Pollack, J. M., Hawver, T. H., & Story, P. A. (2011). The relation between emotional intelligence and job performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32(5), 788-818.

Powell, T. C., Lovallo, D., & Fox, C. R. (2011). Behavioral strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 32(13), 1369-1386.

Teece, D. J. (2007). Explicating dynamic capabilities: the nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strategic Management Journal, 28(13), 1319-1350.

Wong, E. M., Ormiston, M. E., & Haselhuhn, M. P. (2011). A face only an investor could love: CEOs’ facial structure predicts their Firms’ financial performance. Psychological Science, 22(12), 1478-1483.