Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 703–724 | Cite as

The role of leadership in salespeople’s price negotiation behavior

  • Sascha AlaviEmail author
  • Johannes Habel
  • Paolo Guenzi
  • Jan Wieseke
Original Empirical Research


Salespeople assume a key role in defending firms’ price levels in price negotiations with customers. The degree to which salespeople defend prices should critically depend upon their leaders’ influence. However, the influence of leadership on salespeople’s price defense behavior is barely understood, conceptually or empirically. Therefore, building on social learning theory, the authors propose that salespeople might adopt their leaders’ price defense behavior given a transformational leadership style. Furthermore, drawing on the contingency leadership perspective, the authors argue that this adoption fundamentally depends on three variables deduced from the motivation–ability–opportunity (MAO) framework, that is, salespeople’s learning motivation, negotiation efficacy, and perceived customer lenience. Results of a multi-level model using data from 92 salespeople and 264 salesperson–customer interactions confirm these predictions. The first to explore contingencies of salespeople’s adoption of their transformational leaders’ price negotiation behaviors, this study extends marketing theory and provides actionable guidance to practitioners.


Sales Leadership Price negotiations Salesperson–customer interaction Transformational leadership Social learning 

Supplementary material

11747_2017_566_MOESM1_ESM.docx (40 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 39 kb)


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sascha Alavi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Johannes Habel
    • 2
  • Paolo Guenzi
    • 3
  • Jan Wieseke
    • 1
  1. 1.Sales & Marketing DepartmentUniversity of BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.ESMT European School of Management and TechnologyBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Bocconi School of ManagementMilanItaly

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