IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Comarketing Alliances: Should You Contract on Actions or Outcomes?


  • Pavan Rao Chennamaneni

    () (Department of Marketing, College of Business and Economics, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin 53190)

  • Ramarao Desiraju

    () (Department of Marketing, College of Business Administration, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816)


Comarketing alliances often involve multiple partners, and a given partner's marketing efforts on behalf of the alliance can indirectly affect the demand of the other partners. Individual partners, however, can ignore the effects of such an externality and invest suboptimally to the detriment of the alliance. This paper examines the relative effectiveness of outcome- and action-based contracts in providing the alliance partners with the incentives to invest appropriately. We develop a mathematical model in which a focal firm (e.g., Sony) contracts with two partners (e.g., McDonald's and Old Navy) when each of these partners is privately informed about the impact of the alliance on its demand. Our analysis evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of outcome- (or output-) and action-based (or input-based) contracts in settings with varying levels of the demand externality. We find that when there is either no externality or a relatively weak positive externality, there is a strict preference for output-based contracts; that preference, however, is reversed with a sufficiently strong positive externality. This paper explains the underlying rationale for these findings. This paper was accepted by Preyas Desai, marketing.

Suggested Citation

  • Pavan Rao Chennamaneni & Ramarao Desiraju, 2011. "Comarketing Alliances: Should You Contract on Actions or Outcomes?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(4), pages 752-762, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:57:y:2011:i:4:p:752-762

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 1985. "Input versus output incentive schemes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-23, October.
    2. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    3. Khalil Fahad & Lawarree Jacques, 1995. "Input versus Output Monitoring: Who Is the Residual Claimant?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 139-157, June.
    4. Preyas S. Desai & Kannan Srinivasan, 1995. "Demand Signalling Under Unobservable Effort in Franchising: Linear and Nonlinear Price Contracts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(10), pages 1608-1623, October.
    5. Rajiv Lal, 1990. "Improving Channel Coordination Through Franchising," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 9(4), pages 299-318.
    6. Birendra K. Mishra & Ashutosh Prasad, 2004. "Centralized Pricing Versus Delegating Pricing to the Salesforce Under Information Asymmetry," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 21-27, January.
    7. Demski, Joel S. & Sappington, David, 1984. "Optimal incentive contracts with multiple agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 152-171, June.
    8. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1985. "Optimal Selling Strategies under Uncertainty for a Discriminating Monopolist When Demands Are Interdependent," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 345-361, March.
    9. Yupin Yang & Mengze Shi & Avi Goldfarb, 2009. "Estimating the Value of Brand Alliances in Professional Team Sports," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(6), pages 1095-1111, 11-12.
    10. Claudio Mezzetti, 2004. "Mechanism Design with Interdependent Valuations: Efficiency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1617-1626, September.
    11. Ramarao Desiraju, 2006. "Price versus Quantity Monitoring," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(5), pages 2361-2380, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jinten:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10843-017-0207-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Rodolfo Petter & Luis Resende & Pedro Andrade JĂșnior & Diogo Horst, 2014. "Systematic review: an analysis model for measuring the coopetitive performance in horizontal cooperation networks mapping the critical success factors and their variables," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(1), pages 157-178, August.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:57:y:2011:i:4:p:752-762. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.