Cognitive Biases In Sales Management Evaluations

Brown, Stephen W.; Jackson Jr., Donald W.; Mawen, John C.
September 1980
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Fall/Winter80/81, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p83
Academic Journal
The article presents a brief overview of behavioral literature pertinent to the performance appraisal process and presents a study which reveals a potential bias in the performance ratings for research investigating the behavioral factors affecting marketing management decisions. It is argued that in making evaluations, sales managers are in reality attempting to identify the causality for a particular salesman's success or failure. Thus, the sales manager tries to determine the factors that influenced the employees sales volume, number of sales calls, number of new accounts, etc. The process through which such causal inferences are made has been labeled attribution theory. In a role-playing situation, it was shown that in evaluating sales ability individuals may overutilize effort information and underutilize task difficulty information. These results have substantial implications for evaluating sales people. If the bias occurs in actual evaluations, some sales people may be inappropriately rewarded with a lucrative territory, bonus, or other benefits, while other sales people are denied the benefits they deserve.


Related Articles

  • Two Requirements for Measuring the Effectiveness of Promotion. Taylor, James W. // Journal of Marketing;Apr1965, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p43 

    Is it really true that so many factors influence sales that it is impossible to identify and measure the contribution of individual factors? Not so, says this author, who holds that there are procedures available for producing meaningful measurements of promotion.

  • THE USE OF "APTITUDE TESTS" IN SALES MANAGEMENT. Chamberlain, S. D. // Journal of Marketing;Oct43, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p159 

    The article discusses the development and use of aptitude tests in the hiring of sales personnel. The author begins by describing his research into other types of aptitude test, ultimately finding no tests that applied to sales personnel. With the assistance of the Klein Institute, the author...

  • "BARS" PERFORMANCE RATING FOR SALES FORCE PERSONNEL. Cocanougher, A. Benton; Ivancevich, John M. // Journal of Marketing;Jul1978, Vol. 42 Issue 3, p87 

    The article discusses the behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS). It is a performance rating system used for grading sales personnel. A BARS system is designed to determine an individual salesperson's contribution to results by focusing on specific behaviors which are controllable. Experts...

  • Performance Appraisal for Groups: Models and Methods for Assessing Group Processes and Outcomes for Development and Evaluation. London, Manuel // Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice & Research;Sep2007, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p175 

    This paper guides consulting psychologists in how to help managers and group leaders assess group members' reactions, behaviors, and performance. The results may be used for development in improving group performance and for evaluation in making decisions about group members' pay and...

  • Performance Management Systems - Its Challenges. Mascarenhas, Merlyn // International Journal of Exclusive Management Research;Nov2012, Vol. 2 Issue 11, p1 

    A performance management system is the key factor used in determining whether an organization can manage its human resources and talent effectively. Performance management provides information on who should be trained and in what areas, which employees should be rewarded, and what type of skills...

  • Passing Judgment. Grote, Dick // Conference Board Review;Sep/Oct2008, Vol. 45 Issue 5, p36 

    The article offers information on performance-management system of a company. It highlights the importance of the system in allowing organizations to create critical decisions correctly that include allocating rewards, identifying the relative strength of talent, and recognizing best performers....

  • Level and Source of Feedback as Determinants of Feedback Effectiveness. DeNisi, Angelo S.; Randolph, W. Alan; Blencoe, Allyn G. // Academy of Management Proceedings (00650668);1982, p175 

    Although feedback research has examined the effects of different levels and sources of feedback, these two have never been studied together. The present study involved 126 subjects working on 2 group tasks, all receiving both individual and group level feedback from peers and a superior. Results...

  • Building a Better Executive Team. McNamar, Richard T. // California Management Review;Winter73, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p59 

    It is a common occurrence for companies to introduce modern management tools only to find that the wrong men were chosen to implement them. This article examines the three major steps in the promotion decision process: the identification of promising candidates; their evaluation; and the...

  • Don't Mistake a Bull Market For Brains. Anderson, Dave // Credit Union Magazine;Jul2006, Vol. 72 Issue 7, p12 

    The article focuses on how managers rate the performance of their employees. Managers get the job done on the backs of the other people, by pushing, abusing, or intimidating to get results. They get results because they have created a culture of discipline or have become tyrants who impose...


Read the Article


Sign out of this library

Other Topics