Miao, C. Fred; Lund, Donald J.; Evans, Kenneth R.
June 2009
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Summer2009, Vol. 29 Issue 3, p243
Academic Journal
Career stage theory suggests that salespeople vary in their motivation systematically across career stages. However, empirical evidence using valence, expectancy, and instrumentality components of motivation have failed to find consistent support. Drawing on social psychology and recent sales literature, we decompose global intrinsic and extrinsic (I/E) motivation into distinct cognitive and affective dimensions to empirically test a more current conceptualization of salesperson motivation. Empirical results using a cross section of salespeople indicate that salespeople's I/E motivation differs along the cognitive, but not affective, dimensions across career stages. Specifically, salespeople in the establishment stage were found to have higher levels of challenge seeking than those in the disengagement stage, and compensation seeking was higher among exploration- and establishment-stage salespeople than those in the maintenance stage. The research findings highlight the need to distinguish between cognitive and affective dimensions of I/E motivation in understanding career stage--based expectations of salesperson motivation.


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