Skip to main content
Log in

Psychological climate, empowerment, leadership style, and customer-oriented selling: An analysis of the sales manager-salesperson dyad

  • Published:
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

This study examined antecedents and performancerelated consequences of customer-oriented selling. The antecedents include sales managers’ leadership styles, psychological empowerment, and the psychological climates of organizations. Data were gathered on two separate performance outcome measures. Responses from 106 sales managers and 313 sales representatives were analyzed. The results indicate that transformational leadership, empowerment, and specific components of the psychological climate are important predictors of customer-oriented selling.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Anderson, James C. and David W. Gerbing. 1982. “Some Methods for Respecifying Measurement Models to Obtain Unidimensional Construct Measurement.”Journal of Marketing Research 19 (4): 453–460.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • — and —. 1988. “Structural Equation Modeling in Practice: A Review and Recommended Two-Step Approach.”Psychological Bulletin 103 (3): 411–423.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ashforth, Blake E. 1989. “The Experience of Powerlessness in Organizations.”Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 43 (2): 207–242.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bagozzi, Richard P. and Youjae Yi. 1988. “On the Evaluation of Structural Equation Models.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 16 (1): 74–94.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bass, Bernard M. 1985.Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • — 1990. “From Transactional to Transformational Leadership: Learning to Share the Vision.”Organizational Dynamics 18(3): 19–36.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • — 1997. “Personal Selling and Transactional/Transformational Leadership.”Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 17 (3): 19–28.

    Google Scholar 

  • — and Bruce J. Avolio. 1995.Manual: The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Redwood City, CA: Mind Garden.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, Steven P., William L. Cron, and John W. Slocum, Jr. 1998. “Effects of Trait Competitiveness and Perceived Intraorganizational Competition on Salesperson Goal Setting and Performance.”Journal of Marketing 62 (4): 88–98.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • — and Thomas W. Leigh. 1996. “A New Look at Psychological Climate and Its Relationship to Job Involvement, Effort, and Performance.”Journal of Applied Psychology 81 (4): 358–368.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • — and Robert A. Peterson. 1993. “Antecedents and Consequences of Salesperson Job Satisfaction: A Meta-Analysis and Assessment of Causal Effects.”Journal of Marketing Research 30 (1): 63–77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • — and —. 1994. “The Effect of Effort on Sales Performance and Job Satisfaction.”Journal of Marketing 58 (2): 70–80.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Busch, Paul and David T. Wilson. 1976. “An Experimental Analysis of a Salesman’s Expert and Referent Bases of Social Power in the Buyer-Seller Dyad.”Journal of Marketing Research 13 (1): 3–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bycio, Peter, Rick D. Hackett, and Joyce S. Allen. 1995. “Further Assessments of Bass’s (1985) Conceptualization of Transactional and Transformational Leadership.”Journal of Applied Psychology 80 (4): 468–478.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Campbell, John P., Marvin D. Dunnette, Edward E. Lawler III, and Karl E. Weick. 1970.Managerial Behavior, Performance and Effectiveness. New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Churchill, Gilbert A., Jr., Neil M. Ford, Steven W. Hartley, and Orville C. Walker, Jr. 1985. “The Determinants of Salesperson Performance: A Meta-Analysis.”Journal of Marketing Research 22 (2): 103–118.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Conger, Jay A. and Rabindra N. Kanungo. 1988. “The Empowerment Process: Integrating Theory and Practice.”Academy of Management Review 13 (July): 471–482.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cronbach, Lee J. 1951. “Coefficient Alpha and the Internal Structure of Tests.”Psychometrika 16 (3): 297–334.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DeCharms, Richard. 1968.Personal Causation: The Internal Affective Determinants of Behavior. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dubinsky, Alan J. and Steven W. Hartley. 1986. “A Path-Analytic Study of a Model of Salesperson Performance.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 14 (Spring): 36–46.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • —, Francis J. Yammarino, Marvin A. Jolson, and William D. Spangler. 1995. “Transformational Leadership: An Initial Investigation in Sales Management.”Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 15 (Spring): 17–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • Flaherty, Theresa B., Robert Dahlstrom, and Steven J. Skinner. 1999. “Organizational Values and Role Stress as Determinants of Customer-Oriented Selling Performance.”Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 19(2): 1–18.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fornell, Claes and David F. Larker. 1981. “Evaluating Structural Equation Models with Unobservable Variables and Measurement Error.”Journal of Marketing Research 18 (1): 39–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fulford, Mark D. and Cathy A. Enz. 1995. “The Impact of Empowerment on Service Employees.”Journal of Managerial Issues 7 (2): 161 -174.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gaski, John. 1984. “The Theory of Power and Conflict in Channels of Distribution.”Journal of Marketing 48 (Summer): 9–29.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gist, Marilyn E. 1987. “Self-Efficacy: Implications for Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management.”Academy of Management Review 12 (3): 472–485.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hair, Joseph, Jr., Rolph E. Anderson, Ronald L. Tatham, and William C. Black. 1998.Multivariate Data Analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hartline, Michael D. and O. C. Ferrell. 1996. “The Management of Customer-Contact Service Employees: An Empirical Investigation.”Journal of Marketing 60 (4): 52–70.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Joreskog, Karl G. and Dag Sorbom. 1999.LISREL 8.30. Chicago: Scientific Software International.

    Google Scholar 

  • Joyce, William R, John W. Slocum, Jr., and Michael Abelson. 1977. “A ausal Analysis of Psychological Climate and Leader Behavior Relationships.”Journal of Business Research 5 (September): 261–273.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jung, Doug I. and Bruce J. Avolio. 1999. “Effects of Leadership Style and Followers’ Cultural Orientation on Performance in Group and Individual Task Conditions.”Academy of Management Journal 42 (2): 208–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kark, Ronit, Boas Shamir, and Gilad Chen. 2003. “The Faces of Transformational Leadership: Empowerment and Dependency.”Journal of Applied Psychology 88 (2): 246–255.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Keillor, Bruce D., R. Stephen Parker, and Charles E. Pettijohn. 1999. “Sales Force Performance Satisfaction and Aspects of Relational Selling: Implications for Sales Managers.”Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 7 (1): 101 -115.

    Google Scholar 

  • Knouse, Stephen B. and David Strutton. 1996. “Molding a Total Quality Salesforce Through Managing Empowerment, Evaluation, and Reward and Recognition Processes.”Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 4 (Summer): 24–35.

    Google Scholar 

  • Koys, Daniel J. and Thomas A. DeCotiis. 1991. “Inductive Measures of Psychological Climate.”Human Relations 44 (3): 265–285.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krafft, Manfred. 1999. “An Empirical Investigation of the Antecedents of Sales Force Control Systems.”Journal of Marketing 63 (3): 120–134.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lagace, Rosemary. 1991. “An Exploratory Study of Reciprocal Trust Between Sales Managers and Salespersons.”Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 11 (2): 49–58.

    Google Scholar 

  • MacKenzie, Scott B., Philip M. Podsakoff, and Gregory A. Rich. 2001. “Transformational and Transactional Leadership and Salesperson Performance.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 29 (2): 115–134.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Redmond, Matthew R., Michael D. Mumford, and Richard Teach. 1993. “Putting Creativity to Work: Effects of Leader Behavior on Subordinate Creativity.”Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes 55 (1): 120–151.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rich, Gregory A., William H. Bommer, Scott B. MacKenzie, Philip M. Podsakoff, and Jonathan L. Johnson. 1999. “Methods in Sales Research: Apples and Apples or Apples and Oranges? A Meta-Analysis of Objective and Subjective Measures of Salesperson Performance.”Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 19 (4): 41–52.

    Google Scholar 

  • Saxe, Robert and Barton A. Weitz. 1982. “The SOCO Scales: A Measure of the Customer Orientation of Salespeople.”Journal of Marketing Research 19(3): 343–351.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shamir, Boas, Robert J. House, and Michael B. Arthur. 1993. “The Motivational Effects of Charismatic Leadership: Self-Concept Theory.”Organizational Science 4 (4): 577–594.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Siguaw, Judy A., Gene Brown, and Robert E. Widing II. 1994. “The Influence of the Market Orientation of the Firm on Sales Force Behavior and Attitudes.”Journal of Marketing Research 31 (1): 106–116.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, Jagdip. 1993. “Boundary Role Ambiguity: Facts, Determinants, and Impacts.”Journal of Marketing 57 (2): 11–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • —, Willem Verbeke, and Gary K. Rhoads. 1996. “Do Organizational Practices Matter in Role Stress Processes? A Study of Direct and Moderating Effects for Marketing-Oriented Boundary Spanners.”Journal of Marketing 60 (3): 69–86.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spreitzer, Gretchen M. 1995. “Psychological Empowerment in the Workplace: Dimensions, Measurement, and Validation.”Academy of Management Journal 38 (5): 1442–1465.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • —. 1996. “Social Structural Characteristics of Psychological Empowerment.”Academy of Management Journal 39 (April): 483–504.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • , Suzanne C. De Janasz, and Robert E. Quinn. 1999. “Empowered to Lead: The Role of Psychological Empowerment in Leadership.”Journal of Organizational Behavior 20 (4): 511–526.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • —, Mark A. Kizilos, and Stephen W. Nason. 1997. “A Dimensional Analysis of the Relationship Between Psychological Empowerment and Effectiveness, Satisfaction, and Strain.”Journal of Management 23 (5): 679–704.

    Google Scholar 

  • Strutton, David, Lou E. Pelton, and James R. Lumpkin. 1993. “The Relationship Between Psychological Climate and Salesperson-Sales Manager Trust in Sales Organizations.”Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 13 (4): 1–14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Swift, Cathy O. and Constance Campbell. 1998. “Psychological Climate: Relevance for Sales Managers and Impact on Consequent Job Satisfaction.”Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 6(1): 27–37.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, Kenneth W. and Betty A. Velthouse. 1990. “Cognitive Elements of Empowerment: An ‘Interpretive’ Model of Intrinsic Task Motivation.”Academy of Management Review 15 (4): 666–681.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wagner, John A. III. 1994. “Participation’s Effects on Performance and Satisfaction: A Reconsideration Research Evidence.”Academy of Management Review 19 (2): 312–330.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walker, Orville C, Jr., Gilbert A. Churchill, Jr., and Neil M. Ford. 1977. “Motivation and Performance in Industrial Selling: Existing Knowledge and Needed Research.”Journal of Marketing Research 14 (2): 156–68.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • ——, and —. 1979. “Where Do We Go From Here? Selected Conceptual and Empirical Issues Concerning the Motivation and Performance of the Industrial Sales Force.” InCritical Issues in Sales Management: State of the Art and Future Research Needs. Eds. G. Albaum and Gilbert A. Churchill. Eugene: University of Oregon Press, 10–75.

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams, Michael R. and Jill S. Attaway. 1996. “Exploring Salesperson’s Customer Orientation as a Mediator of Organizational Culture’s Influence on Buyer-Seller Relationships.”Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 16 (4): 33–52.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wotruba, Thomas R. 1996. “The Transformation of Industrial Selling: Causes and Consequences.”Industrial Marketing Management 25 (September): 327–338.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yammarino, Francis J. and Alan J. Dubinsky. 1990. “Salesperson Performance and Managerially Controllable Factors: An Investigation of Individual and Work Group Effects.”Journal of Management 16(1): 87–106.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Craig A. Martin (craig.martin@wku.edu), PhD, is an assistant professor of marketing in the Department of Marketing at Western Kentucky University. He received his PhD from the University of Memphis. He specializes in sales and sales management, the consumer socialization of adolescents, sports marketing, and advertising to adolescents. He has had research accepted for publication in theJournal of Advertising, theJournal of Advertising Research, theJournal of Consumer Marketing, theJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing, theJournal of Marketing Theory and Practice, theMarketing Management Journal, theInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, theInternational Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, and multiple national and regional conferences.

Alan J. Bush (alanbush@memphis.edu), PhD, is a professor of marketing in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the University of Memphis. He received his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. His current research interests are primarily sales force research and sports marketing. His research has appeared in theJournal of Marketing Research, theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, theJournal of Business Research, theJournal of Retailing, theJournal of Advertising, theJournal of Advertising Research, theJournal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, and others.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Martin, C.A., Bush, A.J. Psychological climate, empowerment, leadership style, and customer-oriented selling: An analysis of the sales manager-salesperson dyad. JAMS 34, 419–438 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1177/0092070306286205

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0092070306286205

Keywords

Navigation