Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 115-134

First online:

Transformational and transactional leadership and salesperson performance

  • Scott B. MacKenzieAffiliated withIndiana University
  • , Philip M. PodsakoffAffiliated withIndiana University
  • , Gregory A. RichAffiliated withBowling Green State University

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This study examines the impact of transformational and transactional leader behaviors on the sales performance and organizational citizenship behaviors of salespeople, as well as the mediating role played by trust and role ambiguity in that process. Measures of six forms of transformational leader behavior, two forms of transactional leader behavior, trust, and role ambiguity were obtained from 477 sales agents working for a large national insurance company. Objective sales performance data were obtained for the agents, and their supervisors provided evaluations of their citizenship behaviors. The findings validate not only the basic notion that transformational leadership influences salespeople to perform “above and beyond the call of duty” but also that transformational leader behaviors actually have stronger direct and indirect relationships with sales performance and organizational citizenship behavior than transactional leader behaviors. Moreover, this is true even when common method biases are controlled. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.