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Reconciliation of deterministic and knowledge management approaches for a better understanding of SFA’s impact on salespersons’ performance

Kaouther Jridi (University of Tunis, Higher Institute of Management, Applied Research in Business Relationships and Economics (ARBRE), Bardo, Tunisia)
Amel Chaabouni (University of Tunis, Higher School of Economic and Commercial Sciences of Tunis, Applied Research in Business Relationships and Economics (ARBRE), Bardo, Tunisia)
Abdelfattah Triki (University of Jeddah, College of Business in Alkamil, Saudi Arabia)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 5 June 2019

Issue publication date: 12 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to reconcile the deterministic and the knowledge management approaches to investigate a framework that provides an explanation of the sales force automation (SFA) practices’ impact on salespersons’ performance through the organizational absorptive capacity in the African pharmaceutical industry.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory study was conducted to understand SFA uses in the pharmaceutical industry; then a total of 186 medical representatives were sampled and partial least squares analysis was performed.

Findings

The results identified the positive impact of organizational absorptive capacity on SFA use. In addition, the use of the SFA positively influenced the salespersons’ performance. Finally, age plays a positive moderating role in the relationships between use of SFA as a tool for internal coordination between actors and salespersons’ performance.

Practical implications

This research could be useful for managers of pharmaceutical laboratories to SFA use as a tool of coordination between the actors, as a tool of management of the customer relationship and as a tool of management knowledge.

Originality/value

In contrast with the existing studies dealing with deterministic approach when studying the use of SFA, this study exploited the reconciliation between deterministic and knowledge management approaches to propose a conceptual framework dealing with the relationship between the SFA use, the organizational absorptive capacity and the salespersons’ performance in the pharmaceutical industry. This research proposed and tested a framework adapted to the African context.

Keywords

Citation

Jridi, K., Chaabouni, A. and Triki, A. (2019), "Reconciliation of deterministic and knowledge management approaches for a better understanding of SFA’s impact on salespersons’ performance", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 49 No. 3, pp. 353-371. https://doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-11-2018-0103

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited