Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2325575
 


 



Learned Helplessness Among Newly Hired Salespeople and the Influence of Leadership


Jeffrey Patrick Boichuk


University of Houston

Willy Bolander


Florida State University

Zachary R. Hall


Texas Christian University - M.J. Neeley School of Business

Michael Ahearne


University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business

William J. Zahn


St. Edward's University

Melissa Nieves


Florida State University - Department of Marketing

January 1, 2014

Boichuk, Jeffrey P., Willy Bolander, Zachary R. Hall, Michael Ahearne, William J. Zahn, and Melissa Nieves (2014), "Learned Helplessness Among Newly Hired Salespeople and the Influence of Leadership," 78(1), 95-111.

Abstract:     
This paper investigates the sales force socialization process, wherein newly hired salespeople often face failure-prone environments. Drawing from the learned helplessness paradigm, the authors hypothesize that cumulative periods of sales performance failure are associated with sales-oriented behavior intentions. Also, the authors examine the influence of leadership, expecting core transformational leadership to have a diminishing effect as instances of unmet sales goals accumulate. Study 1 finds support for these hypotheses based on panel survey data from 221 new hires and six months of a furniture retailer’s sales force socialization process. Then, aiming to uncover the underlying mechanism driving salesperson helplessness and a managerial approach that has a sustained impact, the authors conduct a scenario-based experiment focused on the business-to-business insurance industry. Study 2 finds that perceived task difficulty mediates the focal relationship discussed above and that error management enables core transformational leadership to have a lasting effect, such that sales-oriented behavior intentions are at their least when transformational sales managers encourage new hires to make errors during their interactions with customers and to actively learn from their failures.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: core transformational leadership, error management, sales force socialization, sales-oriented behaviors, sales performance failure

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: September 15, 2013 ; Last revised: January 17, 2014

Suggested Citation

Boichuk, Jeffrey Patrick and Bolander, Willy and Hall, Zachary R. and Ahearne, Michael and Zahn, William J. and Nieves, Melissa, Learned Helplessness Among Newly Hired Salespeople and the Influence of Leadership (January 1, 2014). Boichuk, Jeffrey P., Willy Bolander, Zachary R. Hall, Michael Ahearne, William J. Zahn, and Melissa Nieves (2014), "Learned Helplessness Among Newly Hired Salespeople and the Influence of Leadership," 78(1), 95-111.. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2325575

Contact Information

Jeffrey Patrick Boichuk
University of Houston ( email )
Houston, TX 77204
United States
713-743-4579 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.bauer.uh.edu/search/directory/profile.asp?firstname=Jeff&lastname=Boichuk
Willy Bolander
Florida State University ( email )
Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States
Zachary R. Hall
Texas Christian University - M.J. Neeley School of Business ( email )
Fort Worth, TX 76129
United States
Michael Ahearne (Contact Author)
University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business ( email )
334 Melcher Hall
Houston, TX 77204-6021
United States
713-743-4155 (Phone)
713-743-4572 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.bauer.uh.edu/Directory/profile.asp?firstname=Michael&lastname=Ahearne
William J. Zahn
St. Edward's University ( email )
3001 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
United States
5124281295 (Phone)
Melissa Nieves
Florida State University - Department of Marketing ( email )
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 398
Downloads: 95
Download Rank: 161,097

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.296 seconds