Multiple Identification Foci and Their Countervailing Effects on Salespeople’s Negative Headquarters Stereotypes
Journal of Marketing, 76, 3, 1-20, 2012
21 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 17, 2012
Using a large-scale, multilevel data set, this study introduces to the sales management literature the concept of sales representatives’ headquarters stereotypes as a negative outcome of social identification. The results suggest that work team identification fosters headquarters stereotyping more strongly when organizational identification is low than when it is high. Salespeople’s physical distance from their corporate headquarters increases work team identification and decreases organizational identification. Competitive intensity, as an external threat to salespeople’s social identity, strengthens stereotyping and social identification. In addition to important theoretical implications, this research also provides crucial insights for managers. Headquarters stereotypes are critically important because they can have harmful consequences for sales performance and customer satisfaction. Key managerial implications are that managers should foster organizational identification and that using different compensation systems does not remedy the negative effects of stereotypes.
Keywords: stereotypes, identification, dispersed sales teams, competitive intensity, sales performance
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