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The effects of coaching on salespeople's attitudes and behaviors: A contingency approach

Vincent Onyemah (Babson College, Babson Park, Massachusetts, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 24 July 2009




This paper's aim is to provide an empirical test of the assumption that coaching impacts salespeople's attitudes and behaviors under various contingencies.


The paper uses the survey responses of 2,532 salespeople and regression analyses.


Salesperson‐organization value fit reduces the likelihood that coaching will engender more affective commitment to the organization, improve satisfaction with job and supervisor and lower perceived role ambiguity. The number of years of formal education reduces the impact of coaching on affective commitment, satisfaction with job and supervisor. Salespeople's confidence in their company's product superiority over competitors' brands also reduces the effectiveness of coaching. Salesperson's organizational tenure has no impact on the effectiveness of coaching. Finally, the age of a salesperson dampens the positive relationship between coaching and affective commitment and job satisfaction but accentuates the negative relationship between coaching and perceived role ambiguity.

Research limitations/implications

Analyses relied on cross‐sectional data. Thus the findings are only suggestive and causal relationships cannot be claimed. Also, the empirical setting limits the generalizability of findings to other professions.

Practical implications

Increasing the amount of coaching can engender positive attitudes and behaviors in salespeople. More coaching time should be devoted to younger salespeople, salespeople with lower confidence in the superiority of company's products over competitors' brands, salespeople with fewer years of formal education, and salespeople whose values fit the least with that of the organization.


The paper provides an empirical test of how, under different situations, coaching influences salespeople's attitudes and behaviors.



Onyemah, V. (2009), "The effects of coaching on salespeople's attitudes and behaviors: A contingency approach", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 43 No. 7/8, pp. 938-960.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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