Date of this Version


Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Details

Keith Duncan (1994) Attributes of Dominant Control: Theoretical Model and Empirical Tests

Acknowledgements:The research reported herein has benefited greatly from comments made by Professors Ray McNamara, Ken Moores, Ted Mock, Keith Shriver, Lester Johnson, and Don Stokes. School of Business Discussion Paper ; No. 52, May 1994

© Copyright Keith Duncan and the School of Business, Bond University


This paper develops and empirically tests a predictive model of the attributes that give one entity dominant control over the decision making of another entity. Control is modelled to be a linear function of four key attributes: (I) the level of ownership; (2) the directness of ownership; (3) the dispersion of ownership; and (4) the level of board membership. The importance of each attribute is estimated through a conjoint experiment wherein subjects judge the degree of control that they feel preplanned scenarios depict. Through conjoint analytic techniques these judgements are disaggregated to reveal the relative attribute weights for each individual, and for the respondent group as a whole.

The results indicate that ownership and board membership are perceived to be the most important attributes in assessing dominant control relations. Indirect ownership links and dispersion of ownership play a lessor role in the assessment of dominant control. The model is found to exhibit predictive ability within the estimation sample and for a set of holdout observations. Finally, the cross-cultural instability of the estimated parameters is found to be driven by the clustering of opinions within the two cultures in the sample (ie. U.S. and Australia).