تاثیر دانش و توانمندی بر هوشمندی کار و سختکوشی: نقش تعدیل کننده تجربه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5388||2006||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Research in Marketing, Volume 23, Issue 3, September 2006, Pages 279–293
This research focuses on the impact that salesperson knowledge and empowering leader behaviors have on salesperson working smarter and working harder behaviors. In turn, we examine the impact of working harder and smarter on customer service, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, on sales performance. Moreover, we propose an interactive relationship, whereby the influences of leader empowering behaviors and salespersons' knowledge will be moderated by salespersons' experience. We tested our hypotheses using survey data from a sample of 175 sales people in the pharmaceutical field, along with external ratings of salespersons' knowledge from sales managers, customer ratings of sales satisfaction and service, and archival measures of salespersons' effort and performance. Results indicate that contrary to popular belief, employees with low levels of product/industry experience benefit the most from leader empowering behaviors. Also, we find that employees with lower levels of experience and higher levels of knowledge are more inclined to work harder. We conclude with directions for future research.
In today's competitive, global business environment, managers and employees are held accountable for customer satisfaction and organizational performance. Amid the increased focus on customer service and satisfaction, companies worldwide have expanded their customer-contact employees with the hopes of improving levels of service. With this growth in employees, many firms have examined different management styles to improve organizational effectiveness and meet customer needs (Babakus, Cravens, Johnston, & Moncrief, 1996). However, some practitioners and researchers have noted that failures to meet customer needs often occur because “employees that were the real contact point between the business and its customers were not empowered to make decisions or act to fulfill customer needs” (Pearce & Robinson, 1997). Consequently, many organizations have embraced the notion of empowering employees which will enable them to be more adaptive and responsive to customer needs and thereby become more efficient and effective. Nowhere is this more evident than in sales settings. Salespeople operate at the boundary of the organization – at the interface with the customer – and are often considered to be the service encounter (Crosby, Evans, & Cowles, 1990). Many organizations are subject to failures in delivering service to their customers because of the heavy dependency they have on their sales representatives (Hartline & Ferrell, 1996). With this in mind, it is apparent that the attitudes and behaviors of the salesperson can influence the customer's perception of service and satisfaction, thereby ultimately affecting the sales (Bowen & Schneider, 1985). The importance of the sales encounter has led many firms to search for ways to effectively manage their sales force so as to help ensure that the sales representatives' attitudes and behaviors are conducive to the delivery of high quality service and customer satisfaction. Researchers have long attempted to identify variables that influence sales performance (Churchill et al., 1985, Cravens et al., 1993 and Vinchur et al., 1998). These variables can typically be classified into three separate categories: (1) salespeople's characteristics and role perceptions, (2) task characteristics, and (3) supervisory behaviors (Kohli, 1989). Accordingly, we advance a model and hypotheses that integrate insights from these different approaches and test how empowering leader behaviors combine with salespersons' experience and knowledge to influence how hard they work and how smart they work. We then test our hypotheses using survey data from a sample of salespeople in the pharmaceutical field, along with their manager's ratings of salesperson knowledge, customer ratings of satisfaction and service, and archival measures of working hard (salesperson's effort) and sales performance criteria. We conclude with a discussion of directions for future research and application. As depicted in Fig. 1, our model suggests that leader empowering behaviors combine with individuals differences (i.e., salespeople's knowledge and experience) to influence salespeople's behavior (i.e., their working harder and working smarter). In turn, these behaviors are believed to relate positively to their job performance (i.e., sales), both directly, and indirectly via customers' satisfaction and perceptions of service. The rationale for each of our hypotheses is detailed below. We begin with a consideration of the core variables of our model, namely working harder and smarter, and influences on them. We then turn to a discussion of how they influence customer and sales outcomes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Within this paper, we examined the relationships between some of the most critical factors that influence salesperson performance. While examining salesperson characteristics and behaviors, we also considered the potential influence that management style, by way of empowering behaviors, may have on salesperson behaviors. Also, in light of the paradigm shift that has moved the field's focus from transactional-based selling to one focused on customer relationship cultivation, we felt it vital to further explore customer attitudes towards sales representatives. The multiple sources of data used to examine the relationships presented add a degree of richness to our findings, which we feel are insightful and relevant to researchers and practitioners alike. Our research provides several insights about the sales representative. First and foremost, it is apparent that high levels of salesperson knowledge have important consequences for both working smart and working hard. As one would expect, a more knowledgeable salesperson is better able to engage in adaptive selling techniques and more sophisticated planning and targeting than one with less knowledge. However, as our earlier argument suggests, the notion that knowledge actually leads to increased work effort may only be relevant in the sales context. Interestingly, one may argue that in many work situations, a knowledgeable employee may actually exert less effort. We believe, however, that in a sales setting, management's provision of individually-based incentives and rewards will in turn motivate a salesperson to exhibit behaviors associated with working hard. Comparably, it seems that managers who exhibit empowering behaviors foster an environment in which sales people can work smarter. An empowered sales force has the ability to make critical decisions on the spot and can plan, organize, and target customers effectively. While this would suggest that managers should empower their sales force, our findings indicate a negative relationship between a salesperson's empowerment and his or her working hard behaviors. While the finding was not significant, that it was found to be negative suggests that this relationship may warrant further research. By examining experience as a moderator between leader empowering behaviors and working hard, we were able to explore whether managers should apply empowerment initiatives uniformly or differentially across employees. As hypothesized, an interaction between experience and empowering leader behaviors was found when using working hard as the dependent variable. However, the nature of the underlying relationship was opposite of what we anticipated. Whereas empowering leadership behaviors exhibited a positive overall linear relationship with working smart, the negative interaction with experience that we obtained suggests that these effects are not uniform. In fact, it appears as though empowering leader behaviors are most beneficial for salespeople with relatively little experience. While this finding is inconsistent with popular belief, it provides support for the suggestion that empowerment may be better viewed as a developmental tool than a liberating experience in certain environments. Also, in our examination of experience as a moderator of salesperson knowledge, we again found significant results in the direction opposite of our hypothesis. This suggests that those individuals with greater levels of knowledge and less experience may be inclined to work harder. This line of thought may explain why students graduating with MBAs are rewarded with such high salaries relative to their level of experience. These graduates provide a good example of individuals who typically have lower levels of work experience, yet are equipped with vast amounts of knowledge and information, therein providing them with the ability and motivation to work hard. The importance of the boundary-spanning employee in the attainment of customer service is evidenced by the relationship between working hard and customer service. While the relationship between working smart and customer service was not significant, we see that working smart does impact performance, as does working hard. One speculation of the reason for our lack of findings between working smart and customer service is that the customer does not have the opportunity to witness the salesperson engaging in smart selling techniques. While the customer is able to observe the salesperson's level of effort, he or she appears to be less likely to be cognizant of the smart selling techniques a salesperson may be employing. Interestingly, these working smarter techniques show a strong relationship to performance and their relevance should not be disregarded. It is possible that salespeople who work smarter are engaging in better information communication. Information communication includes the transmission of relevant information. This occurs through adapting the sales call to a customer's particular needs through listening and making effective use of time (Ahearne et al., 1999). Importantly, this communication also includes the extent to which the customer perceives that the salesperson communicates clearly and objectively in meeting the unique communication needs of the customer. This communication of information may be a facilitating mechanism which helps working smarter behaviors translate into higher levels of performance. Lastly, there is strong evidence demonstrating relationships between customer service, satisfaction, and performance, all of which are well-established in previous literature.