The influence of sales force newcomers' met expectations on selected outcome variables: Development and testing of a model
Description: Sales management researchers and practitioners give considerable attention to early employment expectations, attitudes, and behaviors primarily because of a desire to specify the cognition process leading to performance and retention of salespeople. While a massive body of literature exists concerning turnover of employees and determinants of employee performance, more empirical study specific to the sales force as a research population is needed to assess the nature of turnover and performance. Because the bulk of salesperson turnover occurs in early employment, particular attention needs to be devoted to the cognitive process of newcomers to the sales force. The present work examines expectation-based and perception-oriented models of performance and retention for sales force new hires. Interests of this investigation focus on the initial expectations of newly hired sales representatives and on how the degree of fulfillment of these expectations relates to subsequent performance and retention behavior. Extant research suggests that the degree to which expectations are met positively influences mediating variables such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and indirectly influences outcomes such as job performance and retention of newcomers. Alternatively, some researchers contend that these results are due to improper measurement of met expectations. A longitudinal research design and alternative measurement methods are employed here to better assess the role of met/unmet expectations. The proposed study is based on theoretical research from a variety of academic disciplines, and the results of the study will have multi-disciplinary implications. Contributions include: (a) replication and extension of theoretical research concerning processes leading to performance and retention of sales force newcomers, (b) a thorough examination of met expectations as a precursor to early sales force outcomes, and (c) methodological advances in the measurement of met expectations.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Rylander, David H.