Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 123–130 | Cite as

Emotional reactions and salesperson motivation: An attributional approach following inadequate sales performance

  • Gordon J. Badovick


This research investigates the impact of emotional reactions on salesperson motivation. Using Weiner’s attributional theory of motivation and emotion, a study was conduted to determine how emotional reactions affect salesperson motivation after failure to make a monthly sales quota. The results suggest that a variety of emotional reactions have different effects both on expectations of future success and motivation.


Emotional Reaction Behavioral Intention Attribution Theory Causal Dimension Personal Selling 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, Craig A. 1983. “The Causal Structure of Situations: The Generation of Plausible Causal Attributions as a Function of the Type of Event Situation.”Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 19 (Marcy): 185–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bagozzi, Richard P. 1978. “Salesforce Performance and Satisfaction as a Function of Individual Differences, Interpersonal, and Situational Factors.”Journal of Marketing Research 15 (November): 517–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. — 1981. “Evaluating Structural Equation Models with Unobservable Variance and Measurement Error.”Journal of Marketing Research 18 (November): 375–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Batra, Rajeer and Morris B. Holbrook. 1986. “Development of a Set of Scales to Measure Affective Responses to Advertising.” Working paper. Columbia University.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, Jonathon. 1984. “Effects of Induced Mood on Causal Attributions for Success and Failure.”Motivation and Emotion 8 (December): 343–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carrol, John S. and Richard L. Weiner. 1982. “Cognitive Social Psychology in Court and Beyond.” In:Cognitive Social Psychology. Albert H. Hastorf and Alice M. Isen, eds. New York: Elsevier North Holland.Google Scholar
  7. Churchill, Gilbert A., Jr. 1987.Marketing Research. Chicago: Dryden.Google Scholar
  8. Clark, Margaret S. and Alice M. Isen. 1982. “Toward Understanding the Relationship Between Feeling States and Social Behavior.” In:Cognitive Social Psychology. Albert H. Hastorf and Alice M. Isen, eds. New York: Elsevier North Holland.Google Scholar
  9. Covington, Martin V. and Carol L. Omelich. 1984. “Controversies or Consistencies? A Reply to Brown and Weiner.”Journal of Educational Psychology 76 (February): 159–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Evans, Kenneth R., Loren Margheim, and John Schlacter. 1982. “A Review of Expectancy Theory Research in Selling.”Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management 2 (November): 33–40.Google Scholar
  11. Folkes, Valerie S. 1984. “Consumer Reactions to Product Failure: An Attributional Approach.”Journal of Consumer Research 10 (March): 398–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Folkes, Valerie S. 1985. “Predicting Reactions to Service Problems: The View from the Departure Lounge.” Working paper. University of California at Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  13. — 1988. “Recent Attribution Research in Consumer Behavior: A Review and New Directions.”Journal of Consumer Research 14 (March): 548–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Forsyth, Donelson R. and James H. McMillan. 1981. “Attributions, Affect, and Expectations: A Test of Weiner’s Three Dimensional Model.”Journal of Educational Psychology 73 (June): 393–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Graham, Sandra. 1984. “Communicated Sympathy and Anger to Black and White Children: The Cognitive (Attributional) Consequences of Affective Cues.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 47 (July): 40–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hair, Joseph F., Jr., Rolph E. Anderson, and Ronald L. Tatham. 1987.Multivariate Data Analysis. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  17. Heider, Fritz. 1958.The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  18. Jones, Fritz. 1958.The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  19. Jones, Edward E. 1979. “The Rocky Road from Acts to Dispositions.”American Psychologist 34 (February): 107–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McAuley, Edward and John B. Gross. 1983. “Perceptions of Causality in Sports: An Application of the Causal Dimension Scale.”Journal of Sport Psychology 5 (March): 72–76.Google Scholar
  21. McAuley, Edward, Dan Russell, and John B. Gross. 1983. “Affective Consequences for Winning and Losing: An Attributional Analysis.”Journal of Sport Psychology 5 (June): 278–287.Google Scholar
  22. Meyer, John P. and Anne Mulherin. 1980. “From Attribution to Helping An Analysis of the Mediating Effects of Affect and Expectancy.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39 (August): 201–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mitchell, Terence R. 1982. “Motivation: New Directions for Theory, Research, and Practice.”Academy of Management Review 7 (January): 80–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nunnally, Jum C. 1978.Psychometric Theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  25. Pinder, Craig C. 1984.Work Motivation. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.Google Scholar
  26. Reisenzein, Rainer. 1986. “A Structural Equation Analysis of Weiner’s Attribution-Affect Model of Helping Behavior.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50 (June): 1123–1133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Russell, Dan. 1982. “The Causal Dimension Scale: A Meaure of How Individuals Perceive Causes.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 42 (June): 1137–1145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Russell, Dan and Edward McAuley. 1986. “Causal Attributions, Causal Dimensions, and Affective reactions to Success and Failure.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50 (June): 1174–1185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Russell, Dan, Edward McAuley, and Valeire Tarico. 1987. “Measuring Causal Attributions for Success and Failure: A Comparison of Methodologies for Assessing Causal Dimensions.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52 (June): 1248–1257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sujan, Harish. 1986. “Smarter Versus Harder: An Exploratory Attributional Analysis of Salespeople’s Motivation.”Journal of Marketing Research 23 (February): 41–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Teas, R. Kenneth and James C. McElroy. 1986. “Causal Attributions and Expectancy Estimates: A Framework for Understanding the Dynamics of Salesforce Motivation.”Journal of Marketing 50 (January): 75–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Walker, Orville C., Jr., Gilbert A. Churchill, Jr., and Neil M. Ford. 1977. “Motivation of performance in Industrial Selling: Present Knowledge and Needed Research.”Journal of Marketing Research 14 (May): 156–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. — Jr., 1979. “Where Do We Go From Here? Selected Conceptual and Empirical Issues Concerning the Motivation and Performance of the Industrial Salesforce.” In:Critical Issues in Sales Management: State-of-the-Art and Future Research Needs, Gerald Albaum and Gilbert A. Churchill, Jr., eds. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon, pp. 10–75.Google Scholar
  34. Weiner, Bernard. 1974.Achievement Motivation and Attribution Theory. Morristown, NJ: General Learning.Google Scholar
  35. — 1983. “Some Methodological Pitfalls in Attributional Research.”Journal of Educational Psychology 75 (August): 530–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. —. 1985. “An Attributional Theory of Achievement Motivation and Emotion.”Psychological Review 92 (October): 548–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. — 1986.An Attributional Theory of Motivation and Emotion. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  38. Weiner, Bernard, James Amirkhan, Valerie S. Folkes, and Julie Verette. 1987. “An Attributional Analysis of Excuse Giving.” Working Paper. University of Califronia at Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  39. Weiner, Bernad, I.H. Frieze, A. Kukla, L. Reed, S. Rest, and R.M. Rosenbaum. 1971.Perceiving the Causes of Success and Failure. Morristown, NJ: General Learning.Google Scholar
  40. Weiner, Bernard, Dan Russell, and David Lerman. 1978. “Affective Consequences of Causal Ascriptions.” In:New Directions in Attribution Research, John H. Harvey, William Ickes, and Robert F. Kidd, eds. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  41. — 1979. “The Cognition-Emotion Process in Achievement Related Contexts.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37 (July): 1211–1220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Weitz, Barton A., Harish Sujan, and Mita Sujan. 1986. “Knowledge, Motivation, and Adaptive Behavior: A Framework for Improving Selling Effectiveness.”Journal of Marketing 50 (October): 174–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wright, Jack and Walter Mischel. 1982. “Influence of Affect on Cognitive Social Learning Person Variables.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 43 (November): 901–914.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon J. Badovick
    • 1
  1. 1.Northern Illinois UniversityDekalbUSA

Personalised recommendations