Examining the Role of Well-being in the Marketing Discipline: Volume 17

Cover of Examining the Role of Well-being in the Marketing Discipline

Table of contents

(9 chapters)


Pages i-xvii
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Integrating relationship marketing and management research, the author explores internal selling (i.e., a salesperson’s internally focused efforts intended to identify, solicit, and use internal sales resources to support external selling activities) as a unique source of salespeople role stress and examine its contingent outcomes. The conceptual model suggests that internal selling as a job demand and stressor leads to increased salespeople role stress. However, a number of situational (i.e., selling organization market orientation, service climate, and seller–buyer relationship) and individual factors (i.e., networking ability and psychological capital of the salespeople) serve as job and personal resources to moderate the internal selling–outcome relationships, such that when such resources are adequate, internal selling will reduce role stress and increase sales performance. The author also examines situational (i.e., customer solutions offering and formalization of the selling organization) and individual (i.e., salespeople power and social status) antecedents of internal selling. The model provides useful insights and practical guidance for selling organizations to recognize mechanisms associated with internal selling in their organizations, and to intentionally design within organization support systems to enhance salespeople well being and enable them to participate effectively in the relational process of selling. The chapter stresses the need to develop context-specific stress models for different occupations and job roles.


Although stress has become a prominent research theme in consumer behavior and occupational health, to the authors knowledge there is only one review on the relationship between consumer behavior and stress (i.e., when internal and external factors exceed an individual’s resources and endangering the individual’s well-being) and this was published 10 years ago. Further, research on occupational stress has yet to be fully integrated into the consumer stress literature. In this chapter, the authors attempt to advance research on consumer stress by a drawing on a satisfaction mirror framework which outlines that consumers and employees influence each other through a “mirror” where they positively and cyclically influence each other in a service environment. The authors argue that consumers and employees may likewise mirror each other in a negative cycle of stress and well-being depletion. First, the authors describe how stress is viewed in consumer behavior and marketing. Second, the authors review evidence that consumption serves as a form of coping with stress. Third, the authors discuss the role of consumption as a stressor that may drive consumer stress. Finally, the authors introduce the satisfaction mirror model and outline the bi-directional influence on increased stress and well-being depletion at the consumer–employee interface in service encounters. The model introduced in this chapter serves as a framework for organizing findings related to stress and well-being in the fields of consumer behavior and occupational health. In addition, the model serves as a springboard for developing propositions for future research. Ultimately, the authors hope this chapter both updates and builds upon previous findings on stress and consumer behavior, as well as grounds future research on stress and well-being at the intersection of consumers and employees.


The authors ask whether individuals tasked with persuading others have distinct and important concerns regarding their occupational stress and well-being. The authors argue that a well-known model from the marketing literature – the persuasion knowledge model (PKM; Friestad & Wright, 1994) – illuminates a number of issues for future study. The authors further argue for a number of extensions to the PKM to account for the persuasion agent’s side of the interaction. Next, the authors consider potential stressors that are distinctive to the persuasion encounter, as well as the strategies that persuasion agents engage to cope. This discussion reveals a number of potential negative consequences for the agents themselves, as well as their employing firms and customers. Finally, the authors present some thoughts on what persuasion agents, their managers, and external regulators can do to mitigate these negative consequences.


The service-profit chain model (Heskett, Jones, Loverman, Sasser, & Schlesinger, 1994) highlights the well-documented relationship between employee and customer attitudes suggesting that employees who are satisfied and engaged with their work provide better customer service resulting in higher levels of customer satisfaction and, ultimately, driving firm revenue. The authors propose an expansion of the service-profit margin identifying the leadership behaviors that create positive employee attitudes and engagement. Specifically, the authors suggest that leaders who focus on recognition, involvement, growth and development, health and safety, and teamwork (Kelloway, Nielsen, & Dimoff, 2017) create a psychologically healthy workplace for customer service providers and, ultimately, an enhanced customer experience.


Prior research has documented a generally positive relationship between employees’ standing on constructs that are commonly studied by positive psychologists and workplace outcomes, such as job performance and retention. Constructs such as adaptability, empowerment, hope, optimism, and resilience are believed to reflect psychological resources that employees can draw upon when facing adversity and challenges in their work, while also reflecting a general tendency or disposition to experience positive emotions and engage with others in ways that reflect such positive emotions. As such, positive psychology constructs may be particularly important for performance in jobs characterized by high levels of social interaction, stress, and challenge. In order to explore the manner in which different positive psychology constructs are related to sales performance, this chapter presents findings from a meta-analytic investigation into the relationships between sales performance and a variety of positive psychology constructs. Findings based on data from 59 unique samples and 14,334 salespeople indicate that some positive psychology constructs exhibit moderate to even strong relationships with the performance of salespeople, although the strength of these relationships appears to have been substantially inflated by common-source bias. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for selection and training within sales occupations, and advance an agenda for future research.


This chapter summarizes a meta-analysis of 72 studies (N= 20,701) that link customer mistreatment (abusive, nasty, and rude behavior of customers toward employees) to psychological, attitudinal, and behavioral strains. Results showed that customer mistreatment related significantly to a variety of psychological and attitudinal strains (emotional exhaustion, emotional strain, job (dis)satisfaction, turnover intentions, perceived organizational support, and supervisor support) and behavioral strains (reduced customer service performance and counterproductive work behavior (CWB) directed toward organizations and customers). These results were similar to those found with general mistreatment, suggesting that mistreatment by organizational outsiders might have similar effects to mistreatment from organizational insiders. These results suggest a clear association of mistreatment with strains, but recent work is discussed that questions the typical assumption that mistreatment leads to CWB rather than the reverse.


Sales personnel play a key role in the success of organizations. These individuals present services/products to clients, manage accounts, build relationships, maintain existing business relationships, and must be available for frequent interactions with clients. Business operations are linked to external entities through these activities, suggesting sales groups play a critical role in the success of an organization. As a representative to the external market, sales personnel are subject to unique stressors due to role-specific requirements. These stressors can impact the ability of sales professionals to effectively engage with customers and manage the volatility of financial performance, especially in commission-based compensation structures. Thus, organizations can find utility in identifying sales candidates with higher levels of stress tolerance, who can handle negative client interactions, overcome lulls in sales conversions, and avoid the impact of occupational stressors on long-term sales performance. Research suggests that organizations can use personality to predict stress tolerance as a component of sales performance. To provide organizations with insights into sales-specific coping behaviors associated with stress tolerance, the authors (1) discuss stress inducing factors (stressors) associated with sales role performance, (2) review the individual differences associated with stress tolerance, (3) present personality relationships with sales performance and stress tolerance, and (4) present job-analytic support for stress tolerance competencies relevant to sales performance and criterion-related validity evidence linking personality characteristics to those behaviors. The authors conclude with a discussion around the potential for applied uses of personality in identifying sales personnel with greater likelihoods of exhibiting stress tolerant behaviors in the workplace.


Pages 161-165
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Cover of Examining the Role of Well-being in the Marketing Discipline
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Research in Occupational Stress and Well Being
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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