Original Empirical Research

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 664-682

First online:

When salespeople develop negative headquarters stereotypes: performance effects and managerial remedies

  • Christian HomburgAffiliated withUniversity of MannheimDepartment of Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne Email author 
  • , Jan WiesekeAffiliated withRuhr-University of Bochum
  • , Bryan A. LukasAffiliated withDepartment of Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne
  • , Sven MikolonAffiliated withRuhr-University of Bochum

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This study examines the performance implications that organizations may suffer when their salespeople develop negative stereotypes of their corporate headquarters. How such stereotypes can be remedied through managerial action is also examined. The study draws on matched data from four different sources: sales managers, salespeople, customers, and company reports. Findings indicate that negative headquarters stereotypes among salespeople are associated with poor marketing-related performance across a range of outcomes, including salespeople’s adherence to corporate strategy, their customer orientation, and their sales performance. Findings also show that negative headquarters stereotypes can be remedied through managerial action, but more so at the corporate management level than at the sales unit level.


Stereotypes Salespeople Sales management Corporate headquarters Customer orientation