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
Date Written: April 1, 2010
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: Suggested Citation