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A meta‐analysis of the relationship between sales orientation‐customer orientation (SOCO) and salesperson job performance

Fernando Jaramillo (College of Business Administration, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)
Daniel M. Ladik (Sawyer School of Management, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Greg W. Marshall (Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, USA)
Jay Prakash Mulki (College of Business Administration, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 7 August 2007




In the years since Saxe and Weitz developed a scale to measure the selling orientation and customer orientation (SOCO) of a salesperson, research findings on the effect of SOCO on salesperson job performance have shown mixed results. This article aims to synthesize the findings from the empirical studies to identify the direction and the strength of this relationship. In addition, it aims to investigate the moderating effect of customer type (business or end user consumer) and type of job performance measure used (subjective or objective).


Research questions were addressed by a meta‐analysis of 16 studies containing 17 effect sizes from 3,477 respondents.


Meta‐analysis results reveal an attenuated weighted mean effect size (r) of this relationship of 0.14, with a 90 percent confidence interval of 0.04 to 0.23. The disattenuated mean effect size (rc) is 0.16. Findings also reveal that neither customer type nor type of job performance measures moderated the SOCO and job performance relationship.

Research limitations/implications

Although diligence was exercised to reduce selection bias, relevant studies may have been excluded from this meta‐analysis.

Practical implications

Study findings demonstrate that SOCO is an important predictor of salesperson job performance. High performance occurs when salespeople focus their energy on identifying the customer's individual needs and offer products to satisfy those needs.


This is the first published SOCO meta‐analysis.



Jaramillo, F., Ladik, D.M., Marshall, G.W. and Mulki, J.P. (2007), "A meta‐analysis of the relationship between sales orientation‐customer orientation (SOCO) and salesperson job performance", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 302-310.



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