Be Careful What You Look for: The Effect of Trait Competitiveness and Long Hours on Salesperson Deviance and Whether Meaningfulness of Work Matters
Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Fall, 2010), pp. 303–321
20 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 19, 2012
Ask sales managers and recruiters what they look for in a salesperson, and they will report that they seek competitive, hard-working professionals who match the culture of their company, and research would support the contention that such things generally help the sales organization. But could two of these factors — specifically, trait competitiveness and working long hours — be associated with counterproductive sales behavior? This research examines the effect of trait competitiveness, hours worked, and person–organization fit on the three forms of deviant salesperson behavior (organizational deviance, interpersonal deviance, and frontline deviance) and, in addition to testing these main effects, investigates whether managers can attenuate these relationships by investing time explaining the meaningfulness of the salesperson’s job to the salesperson. Using survey data collected from 160 business-to-business salespeople from multiple companies and multiple industries, results support five of seven hypothesized main effects as well as three of four hypothesized interactions. The research concludes with an analysis of the findings, a discussion of their managerial implications, and suggestions for future scholarly inquiry.
Keywords: Trait competitiveness, work hours, person-organization fit, deviant salesperson behaviors
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