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Understanding the salespeople's “feedback‐satisfaction” linkage: what role does job perceptions play?

Rajesh Srivastava (Department of Management and Marketing, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA)
Deva Rangarajan (Competence Center Marketing, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Gent, Belgium)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 14 March 2008




This paper aims to highlight the important role played by supervisory feedback on the job satisfaction experienced by salespeople. In order to address this issue, it seeks to argue that job perceptions (job challenge and job involvement) will mediate the feedback‐satisfaction linkage.


Self‐administered questionnaires were distributed to 250 retail automobile and truck salespersons working at 50 dealerships in a major Southwestern metroplex (five salespeople from each dealership were randomly selected for contact). A cluster sampling procedure was used to identify metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with at least two or more dealerships; dealerships were then randomly chosen from the MSAs. Items used to develop the variables were measured using seven‐point Likert‐type scales. Respondents' level of agreement or disagreement with each statement was assessed.


The findings suggest that supervisors could enhance the already strong link between positive feedback and job satisfaction by associating such feedback with job challenge and job involvement. Such a linkage could serve to enrich the supervisor's feedback, shifting it from the domain of simple “pats on the back” toward supervisor‐initiated development.

Research limitations/implications

Some of the limitations of the paper could be that the nature of the sample makes it difficult to generalize results to salesforces in other industries. The predominance of men in these sales positions, though quite representative of the automobile industry, might obscure any gender‐related issues in feedback research.


The value of the paper is that it looks at the mediating role of job perception that has not been researched enough in the past.



Srivastava, R. and Rangarajan, D. (2008), "Understanding the salespeople's “feedback‐satisfaction” linkage: what role does job perceptions play?", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 151-160.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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