Why are Some Salespeople Better at Adapting to Organizational Change?

Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming

37 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2010 Last revised: 18 Apr 2010

See all articles by Michael Ahearne

Michael Ahearne

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

Son K. Lam

University of Georgia - Department of Marketing

John Mathieu

University of Connecticut - Department of Management

Willy Bolander

Florida State University

Date Written: April 1, 2010

Abstract

This study empirically examines the longitudinal influences of salesperson goal orientations on performance trajectories during a planned change intervention that requires learning in order to answer two questions. First, what is the functional form of salespeople’s performance trajectories during a period of change implementation? Second, why are some salespeople better at adapting to change than others? Polynomial growth models showed that the average salesperson performance trajectory displayed an initial decline, gradual recovery, and eventual restabilization. Salespeople’s learning orientation related positively to larger initial declines, steeper recovery slopes, and higher restabilization levels. In contrast, performance orientation related positively to smaller initial declines, yet shallower recovery slopes and lower restabilization levels. Results suggest that successful implementation of planned change interventions largely depends on identifying and appreciating the heterogeneity of individual traits that share meaning with the change. The study has implications on what sales managers should expect in terms of performance losses and gains during change and how managers can predict which salespeople will reap the largest performance benefits from a change intervention.

Keywords: Salesperson, Organizational Change, Adaptation To Change, Goal Orientation, Growth

JEL Classification: M31, O30

Suggested Citation

Ahearne, Michael and Lam, Son K. and Mathieu, John and Bolander, Willy, Why are Some Salespeople Better at Adapting to Organizational Change? (April 1, 2010). Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1582986

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

Son K. Lam

University of Georgia - Department of Marketing ( email )

GA
United States

John Mathieu

University of Connecticut - Department of Management ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1041
United States

Willy Bolander

Florida State University ( email )

Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
196
Abstract Views
1,111
rank
171,356
PlumX Metrics