Improving the Public Acceptance of Sales People Through Professionalization

Adkins, Robert T.; Swan, John E.
September 1981
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Fall/Winter81/82, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p32
Academic Journal
This article analyzes the affect of the "professionalization" of a sales occupation on the public acceptance of the occupation. This concern has been shared by marketing and sales executives for decades. Public acceptance was measured by the degree of occupational prestige awarded to the sales occupation and the value accorded it on the traits of truthfulness, competence and altruism. Fundamental to an understanding of the determinants of occupational prestige are three underlying concepts. The first concept is that of social differentiations, which refers to the phenomenon that people with different characteristics perform different tasks and occupy different roles. The second concept, that of social stratification, is that roles are differentially evaluated and arranged in order according to some commonly accepted basis of valuation, while the third concept is that of prestige. Prestige has often been defined as society's principal symbol of an individual's or a group's social standing.


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