Customer Orientation Dissimilarity, Sales Unit Identification, and Customer-Directed Extra-Role Behaviors: Understanding the Contingency Role of Coworker Support
7 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2012 Last revised: 6 Jan 2013
Date Written: October 19, 2011
Drawing from social identity theory, social categorization theory, and the similarity-attraction paradigm, this study examines how salespeople's dissimilarity from their coworkers in terms of customer orientation relates to their customer directed, extra-role behaviors (hereafter, customer-directed ERBs). The model proposes that sales unit identification mediates the relationship between dissimilarity and customer-directed ERBs, with higher dissimilarity predicting reduced sales unit identification and reduced identification, in turn, predicting declines in customer-directed ERBs. The model also proposes that coworker support moderates the dissimilarity–sales unit identification relationship, with supportive coworkers attenuating the negative effect of dissimilarity on sales unit identification. Data from 50 sales units and 384 salespeople lend support to the model's hypothesized relationships. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Keywords: customer orientation, dissimilarity, organizational identification, extra-role behaviors
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