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Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 156, Issue 2, pp 417–438 | Cite as

Achieving Top Performance While Building Collegiality in Sales: It All Starts with Ethics

  • Omar S. ItaniEmail author
  • Fernando Jaramillo
  • Larry Chonko
Original Paper

Abstract

While previous literature provides evidence of the positive relationship between ethical climate and job satisfaction, the possible mechanisms of this relationship are still underexplored. This study aims to enhance scholars’ and practitioners’ understanding of the ethical climate–job satisfaction relationship by identifying and testing two of the possible mechanisms. More specifically, this study fills an existing research gap by examining social and interpersonal mechanisms, referred to in this study as workplace isolation of colleagues and salesperson’s teamwork, of the ethical climate–job satisfaction relationship. This is vital for the selling profession because job satisfaction is known to drive higher levels of salespeople’s performance. The arguments for such mechanisms are built on the foundations of social/psychological contract theory and ethical climate literature. Empirical testing using a large sample of salespeople shows higher levels of ethical climate to decrease workplace isolation and increase teamwork. Findings support hypothesized model where ethical climate positively relates to job satisfaction as partially mediated by workplace isolation and teamwork. Ethical climate is negatively related to workplace isolation and positively to teamwork. Further, findings indicate negative effect of workplace isolation on teamwork and sales performance. Job satisfaction is found to be key factor in driving performance of salespeople.

Keywords

Ethical climate Job satisfaction Performance Salespeople Social/psychological contract theory Teamwork Workplace isolation 

Abbreviations

SCT

Social contract theory

PCT

Psychological contract theory

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omar S. Itani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fernando Jaramillo
    • 2
  • Larry Chonko
    • 2
  1. 1.Hospitality Management and Marketing DepartmentLebanese American UniversityBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Marketing DepartmentUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

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