The early employment influences of sales representatives on the development of organizational commitment

Chu‐Mei Liu (Department of International Business, Ching Yun University, Taiwan, Republic of China)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Publication date: 1 January 2007



This paper aims to assess the status of the organizational commitment construct and introduce a new way of looking at organizational commitment – especially in early stages of employment, wherein the target company seems to be having problems.


Change in organizational commitment is measured at two points in the early employment of new salespersons in order to isolate the effects of early employment exposure of the medical representatives, a period of 18‐month when attrition of new employees is high.


Training satisfaction and perceived reward equity were the only antecedent factors that showed significant positive relationship with organizational commitment. Manager commitment showed positive contribution, the relationship was not significant. All the three antecedents significantly contributed to organizational commitment. The strongest contributor was manager commitment.

Research limitations/implications

The sample time frame is limited to two data points. Additional research is needed to determine whether these variables have similar influence in other organizations or whether other antecedent variables can be identified.

Practical implications

Company management must pay more attention to early employment experiences. New salespersons need the training to feel competent and able to meet company mandated and/or personal objectives. Salespeople have primary contact to the organization via their immediate sales manager and need to feel like they are fairly rewarded for their efforts. Commitment to the organization partly due to a commitment to the area manager. It is important to build strong relations at the area manager level.


This effort is a by‐product of a research activity on the effectiveness a pharmaceutical company's training program for newly hired sales representatives.



Liu, C. (2007), "The early employment influences of sales representatives on the development of organizational commitment", Employee Relations, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 5-15.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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