Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 190–211 | Cite as

The impact of a sales team’s perceived entitativity on customer satisfaction

  • Chen WangEmail author
  • JoAndrea Hoegg
  • Darren W. Dahl
Original Empirical Research


This research investigates the impact of a sales team’s entitativity—the extent to which a group of individuals is perceived as a unified single entity—on customer satisfaction. Four studies demonstrate that a sales team entitativity cue, either based on appearance (e.g., wearing the same outfit) or based on behavior (e.g., explicit coordination in service), leads to heightened perceptions of service quality, which subsequently enhances customer satisfaction. Further, these two entitativity cues are shown to have interactive effects. Specifically, when both cues indicate high entitativity, customer satisfaction with the sales team exceeds the average evaluation of individual team members. However, if at least one cue suggests low entitativity (e.g., different outfits or no explicit coordination), the positive influence of the entitativity cue is undermined and customer satisfaction with the team’s service is mitigated. Product category is identified as an important moderator of the main effect.


Sales team Entitativity Service quality Customer satisfaction 

Supplementary material

11747_2017_573_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1138 kb)


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© Academy of Marketing Science 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LeBow College of BusinessDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Sauder School of BusinessUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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