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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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