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The role of social and self‐conscious emotions in the regulation of business‐to‐business relationships in salesperson‐customer interactions

Richard P. Bagozzi (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 1 December 2006

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to go beyond the received view, which is solely rational and economic minded, and to introduce the concept of self‐regulation of behavior by salespersons and customers as essential mechanisms for initiating, maintaining, and resolving business‐to‐business exchanges.

Design/methodology/approach

By reviewing emerging research, this paper examines the role of positive and negative social and self‐conscious emotions in salesperson‐customer interactions and how salespersons and customers cope with the response of these emotions so as to better function and adapt to their own, their organizations, and the interpersonal needs of their relationships and to do so mindful of the requisites of co‐workers and the common good.

Findings

Four positive emotions were singled‐out as essential to salesperson‐customer relations: pride, attachment, empathy, and emotional wisdom. Six negative emotions were highlighted as key processes in salesperson‐customer relations: guilt, shame, embarrassment, envy, jealousy, and social anxiety. Some research was reviewed as well, suggesting that cultural factors in the form of different self‐construal (e.g. independent versus independent‐based self‐images) moderate the expression of felt positive and negative emotions and their effects on performance and relations with customers and co‐workers.

Originality/value

The ideas presented in this paper can complement economic and other extreme rational explanations of salesperson and customer behavior and point to new practices in such managerial areas as staffing, training, coaching, compensating, and promoting employees.

Keywords

Citation

Bagozzi, R.P. (2006), "The role of social and self‐conscious emotions in the regulation of business‐to‐business relationships in salesperson‐customer interactions", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 453-457. https://doi.org/10.1108/08858620610708948

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited