, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 144-158

The link between salespeople’s job satisfaction and customer satisfaction in a business-to-business context: A dyadic analysis

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Abstract

Although it has frequently been argued that the job satisfaction of a company’s employees is an important driver of customer satisfaction, systematic research exploring this link is scarce. The present study investigates this relationship for salespeople in a business-to-business context. The theoretical justification for a positive impact of salespeople’s job satisfaction on customer satisfaction is based on the concept of emotional contagion. The analysis is based on a dyadic data set that involves judgments provided by salespeople and their customers collected across multiple manufacturing and services industries. Results indicate the presence of a positive relationship between salespeople’s job satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the relationship between salespeople’s job satisfaction and customer satisfaction is found to be particularly strong in the case of high frequency of customer interaction, high intensity of customer integration into the value-creating process, and high product/service innovativeness.

Christian Homburg is a professor of marketing and chair of the Marketing Department at the University of Mannheim, Germany. He also serves as director of this university’s Institute for Market-Oriented Management. He holds master’s degrees in business administration and mathematics and a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. He also holds a habilitation degree from the University of Mainz, Germany. His research interests include market-oriented management, buyer-seller relationships, and business-to-business marketing. He is also the founder of Professor Homburg & Partners, an internationally operating management consulting firm.
Ruth M. Stock is an associate professor at the Universität der Bundeswehr in Hamburg, Germany. She holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Hagen, Germany; a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Mannheim, Germany; and a habilitation degree from the University der Bundeswehr in Hamburg, Germany. Her main research areas include interpersonal interactions and teams in business-to-business marketing and buyer-seller relationships.