A Review of Expectancy Theory Research in Selling

Evans, Kenneth R.; Margheim, Loren; Schlacter, John L.
November 1982
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Nov82, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p33
Academic Journal
The article focuses on expectancy theory research in selling. Effective management of the salesforce is extremely important within an organization. Until recently, however, empirical research pertaining to the management of sales personnel was almost nonexistent. Currently an increasing number of studies are being performed which attempt to define the determinants of salesperson performance. A number of factors may be involved in eliciting favorable sales performance, such as aptitude, organizational climate, role perceptions, and motivation. Early research in the sales management literature focused upon factors which affected either input or output with regard to sales performance. As a result recent studies have begun to take a more indepth look at the process that impacts on an individual's motivation to perform. In a review of the motivation and performance literature in sales management, the authors conclude that although a number of conceptual approaches to motivation have been utilized, few offer the simple but relatively robust formulation of expectancy theory. Part of the low predictive results found in expectancy theory research may be due to incomplete definitions of the various components of the expectancy model.


Related Articles

  • Sales Managers' Goal Commitment Correlates. Oliver, Richard L.; Brief, Arthur P. // Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;May83, Vol. 3 Issue 1, p11 

    The article discusses the perception of goal commitment in sales personnel to motivational, organizational, and demographic variables. A theory of goal setting specifies relationships between the nature of one's goal and task performance. But it has been argued that mere awareness of a goal is...

  • Sales should shy away from 'inspired' hot air. Nussbaum Jr., Walter // Marketing News;10/09/2000, Vol. 34 Issue 21, p23 

    Presents a perspective on how the motivation business is exploited by public figures and politicians. Motivation of salespeople in selling products; Impact of high-pressure motivational speakers on the sales industry; Importance of product knowledge in a sales person's ability to sell.

  • Expectancy Theory Prediction of the Goal Theory Postulate. "The Harder the Goals, the Higher the Performance". Matsui, Tamao; Okada, Akinori; Mizuguchi, Reiji // Journal of Applied Psychology;Feb81, Vol. 66 Issue 1, p54 

    Goal theory postulates that harder goals lead to higher performance than do easier goals. The present study tested the prediction, based on expectancy valence theory, that this would be true only if the payoff for succeeding at the harder goal is sufficiently greater than the alternatives to...

  • LEARNING AND PERFORMANCE GOAL ORIENTATION OF SALESPEOPLE REVISITED: THE ROLE OF PERFORMANCE-APPROACH AND PERFORMANCE-AVOIDANCE ORIENTATIONS. Silver, Lawrence S.; Dwyer, Sean; Alford, Bruce // Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Winter2006, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p27 

    This study revisits the conceptualization and operationalization of salesperson goal orientation, a mid-level construct in the achievement motivation model. Goal orientation has, in recent sales studies, been conceptualized to be comprised of a learning and a performance goal orientation....

  • Selling and Sales Management in Action: Reward Preferences of Salespeople. Chonko, Lawrence B.; Tanner Jr., John F.; Weeks, William A. // Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Summer92, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p67 

    Previous research has not addressed to any large extent the relative importance that salespeople attach to various types of motivators. Using a paired-comparison approach with a national sample of salespeople, this study reports their perceived importance for pay raises, promotion opportunities,...

  • SELF-EFFICACY, COMPETITIVENESS, AND EFFORT AS ANTECEDENTS OF SALESPERSON PERFORMANCE. Krishnan, Balaji C.; Netemeyer, Richard G.; Boles, James S. // Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Fall2002, Vol. 22 Issue 4, p285 

    This paper posits and tests a model of the individual characteristics of self-efficacy, competitiveness, and effort as potential antecedents of salesperson performance. Based on two studies in different selling contexts, it is observed that whereas effort mediates the relationship between...

  • Expectancy Theory Predictions of Salesmen's Performance. OLIVER, RICHARD L. // Journal of Marketing Research (JMR);Aug1974, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p243 

    As a result of a lack of empirical investigation, the variance in salesmen's performance attributable to motivational constructs has not been estimated. Vroomian expectancy theory was used to show that the motivational perceptions attributed to a set of sales "incentives" by a sample of life...

  • Not hitting your goals? Maybe the problem isn't what you think.  // Sales Insider;5/7/2008, Vol. 2 Issue 38, p2 

    The article gives advice on how to make achievable sales goals. The author implies that failure to achieve a sales goal could errode a seller's self confidence and motivation. He states that sellers should focus more on the ways to achieve a goal rather than focusing on the end result of a goal....

  • Organizational Size and Salesforce Evaluation Practices. Jobber, David; Hooley, Graham J.; Shipley, David // Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Spring93, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p37 

    This study examines the relationship between organizational size and salesforce evaluation practices of two hundred and sixteen industrial goods organizations. Eight propositions derived from the organizational behaviour and economics literature were tested. The results demonstrate that some...


Read the Article


Sign out of this library

Other Topics