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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Nicole Gross and Susi Geiger

Focussing on the dynamic nature of entrepreneurship, the purpose of this paper is to advance an understanding of entrepreneurial practice in phases of radical change…

Abstract

Purpose

Focussing on the dynamic nature of entrepreneurship, the purpose of this paper is to advance an understanding of entrepreneurial practice in phases of radical change, which the authors conceptualize as periods of liminality. A particular focus on the management of tension is taken to investigate destabilization of practices, sources of resistance and enablers of change during shifts from a familiar past into an unfamiliar and uncertain future.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory longitudinal study of a single case firm was conducted to study the entrepreneurial change process during radical transition phases. To understand and theorize liminality and practice renewal in the entrepreneurial firm, the authors leveraged data collection tools from ethnography and engaged in data analysis inspired by grounded theory.

Findings

The authors build a process model of becoming that maps the following processes: destabilizing incumbent practices, sources of resistance and enablers of change, acceptance of upheaval and trying on a new state of being. A research agenda for future research in this area is also formulated.

Originality/value

The research contributes to contemporary entrepreneurship-as-practice research and to research considering the concept of liminality in entrepreneurship. Through processual theory building based on empirical research, the authors highlight that simultaneously handling the practices of the past whilst breeding new trajectories in an unknown future create tensions that can make or break the entrepreneurial firm.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2009

Susi Geiger and Paolo Guenzi

This article aims to position current sales research in relation to what academics perceive as important future research areas for sales theory and practice. It makes the…

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5691

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to position current sales research in relation to what academics perceive as important future research areas for sales theory and practice. It makes the argument that after a 20‐year period of rapid growth and almost a decade of a transition phase, sales research is now a mature area of academic inquiry. The paper seeks to highlights gaps in current knowledge and promising avenues for future sales research endeavours.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on a survey of European sales academics; answers are mapped in matrices demonstrating fields of importance against research volume per subject over the past 20 years.

Findings

While sales research has made many theoretical and managerial inroads, there are still areas where research efforts would greatly enhance both practitioner and academic knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers should focus their efforts on the highlighted areas, taking particular account of the interplay between sales and finance/accounting. This would allow researchers to address such issues as budgeting and forecasting more systematically than had been done heretofore.

Originality/value

The article combines perceptual data with Williams and Plouffe's meta‐analysis of published sales research to deliver a comprehensive and actionable picture of the state of sales research.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 43 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Darach Turley and Susi Geiger

This paper aims to investigate the characteristics and parameters of salesperson learning within client relationships, thereby filling a noticeable gap in the knowledge of…

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1663

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the characteristics and parameters of salesperson learning within client relationships, thereby filling a noticeable gap in the knowledge of individual learning in a sales context. It also aims at advancing the discussion on the nature of learning and knowledge in sales and marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory approach is used to investigate salesperson learning in a relational context. Data collection methods include interviews with 36 business‐to‐business sales personnel, reflexive exercises and field observations.

Findings

The investigation shows that salesperson relational learning is personal, that it occurs in action, that it is contextual, natural, open‐ended, and often unconscious. Antecedents of learning are personal dispositions such as openness to changing contexts and situated learning mechanisms; consequences of relational learning are personal methods of knowledge transfer as well as the transformation of the learner and the client relationship. Thus, a framework of salesperson relational learning is proposed.

Practical implications

Sales managers should emphasise the continuity of learning, train people in situ and minimise turnover of sales personnel. They might also do well to acknowledge how these alternative modes can complement traditional, more formal sales management methods.

Originality/value

This paper presents a grounded model that aids both researchers and practitioners in understanding salesperson learning in client relationships, thus advancing a new theoretical perspective on learning in sales and marketing.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Louise Maguire and Susi Geiger

– This study aims to examine how the temporal aspect of service consumption impacts the emotions that are created within consumers during service encounters.

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1646

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how the temporal aspect of service consumption impacts the emotions that are created within consumers during service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted mobile phone or ‘SMS’ diaries to capture the emotions that participants experienced at the very moment they were being felt or ‘in-vivo’. The study included thirteen different services including both ‘brief’ and ‘extended service transactions’.

Findings

The study suggests that the temporal perspective is a dominant cause of consumption emotions in services, influencing consumers’ emotions from before the service encounter commences to its conclusion and, in some cases, beyond the conclusion of the service event. Other antecedents of consumption emotions such as interactions with staff and the servicescape are influenced by and interwoven with this temporal aspect. By capturing emotions as they were experienced, recall difficulties that might have been encountered had the emotions been measured retrospectively were eliminated, allowing the researchers to construct a comprehensive account of the chronology and contiguity of the emotions created within consumers during service encounters.

Originality/value

Although certain aspects of time such as the consequences of queuing and waiting have been addressed in the services marketing literature, a detailed understanding of how time impacts consumption emotions in services from the start to the conclusion of service encounters has not been undertaken to date. This research addresses that gap by examining how the temporal perspective influences not only consumption emotions in customers per se but how it also influences other causes of consumption emotions that customers encounter during service transactions.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Susi Geiger and Darach Turley

In this paper, grounded theory as an inductive method of theory generation in business research is presented and critically evaluated. The historical and epistemological…

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2646

Abstract

In this paper, grounded theory as an inductive method of theory generation in business research is presented and critically evaluated. The historical and epistemological backgrounds of the method are discussed, its research procedures are briefly outlined, and its suitability for sales research assessed. To illustrate the principles of the method, a study of the nature of business‐to‐business sales relationships is introduced. The results of this study show clearly that grounded theory can yield highly significant findings in areas that deal with phenomena as complex as human relationships, where the construction of theoretical frameworks cannot be achieved at the cost of conceptual density.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 18 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2009

Nicholas G. Paparoidamis and Paolo Guenzi

This study aims to develop and test a model of relationship selling management. It seeks to examine the impact of leadership quality and relationship selling, as…

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3592

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop and test a model of relationship selling management. It seeks to examine the impact of leadership quality and relationship selling, as antecedents of salespeople's relational behaviours, on sales effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting from a review of literature, the model incorporates two classes of salespeople's relational behaviours, namely customer‐oriented selling (COS) and adaptive selling (AS), two classes of managerial antecedents (i.e. relationship selling strategy and LMX) and one consequence (sales effectiveness). The authors collected data from 164 sales manager‐salesperson dyads in a sample of French firms. A structural equation modelling approach was employed to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The findings show that relationship selling and LMX stimulate salespeople's relational behaviours, which in turn positively affect sales effectiveness. Moreover, the results reveal a positive impact of relationship selling on sales manager‐salesperson exchanges.

Research limitations/implications

The study is cross‐sectional, and many other relevant constructs should be investigated in future research on the topic. Objective measures of performance may also be incorporated.

Practical implications

The study demonstrates that companies can stimulate desirable behaviours of salespeople, which drive to better performance, by leveraging on controllable organisational factors, i.e. selling strategy and leadership.

Originality/value

The research fills three important gaps in the extant literature. First of all, the study clearly sheds some light on the role played by specific organisational variables (e.g. leader‐member exchange quality) and behaviours of salespeople in implementing relational strategies. Second, the study shows that the quality of the relationship between supervisors and salespeople can affect specific behaviours of subordinates. Third, the paper contributes to a better understanding of organisational drivers of customer‐oriented selling and adaptive selling, and finds evidence of a positive impact of such behaviours on sales effectiveness.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 43 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2009

John W. Cadogan, Nick Lee, Anssi Tarkiainen and Sanna Sundqvist

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a model of the role managers and peers play in shaping salespeople's ethical behaviour. The model specifies that sales…

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6510

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a model of the role managers and peers play in shaping salespeople's ethical behaviour. The model specifies that sales manager personal moral philosophies, whether sales managers themselves are rewarded according to the outcomes or behaviours of their salespeople, sales team job security, intra‐team cooperation, and sales team tactical performance all influence sales team ethical standards. In turn, ethical standards influence the probability that sales team members will behave (un)ethically when faced with ethical dilemmas.

Design/methodology/approach

The model is tested on a sample of 154 Finnish sales managers. Data were collected via mail survey. Analysis was undertaken using structural equation modelling.

Findings

Ethical standards appear to be shaped by several factors; behaviour‐based management controls increase ethical standards, relativist managers tend to manage less ethically‐minded sales teams, job insecurity impedes the development of ethical standards, and sales teams' cooperation activity increases ethical standards. Sales teams are less likely to engage in unethical behaviour when the teams have strong ethical standards.

Research limitations/implications

Cross‐sectional data limits generalisability; single country data may limit the ability to generalise to different sales environments; additional measure development is needed; identification of additional antecedent factors would be beneficial.

Practical implications

Sales managers should consciously develop high ethical standards in sales teams if they wish to reduce unethical behaviour. Ethical standards can be improved if sales managers change their own outward behaviour (exhibit a less relativistic ethical philosophy), foster cooperation amongst salespeople, and develop perceptions of job security. How sales managers are rewarded may shape how they approach the management of ethical behaviour in their sales teams.

Originality/value

This paper appears to be the first to simultaneously examine both sales manager‐specific and sales team‐specific antecedents to sales team ethical standards and behaviours. As such, it provides an important base for research in this critical area.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 43 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2009

Belinda Dewsnap and David Jobber

The study explores structural devices designed to enhance collaboration between sales and marketing groups. The paper aims to develop a conceptual framework of how such…

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3174

Abstract

Purpose

The study explores structural devices designed to enhance collaboration between sales and marketing groups. The paper aims to develop a conceptual framework of how such integrative devices link to higher levels of sales‐marketing collaboration and also to higher levels of business performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 20 in‐depth interviews and a review of the literature are used to examine the nature and effects of sales‐marketing integrative devices in UK consumer packaged goods firms.

Findings

The study identifies two main types of integrative device in operation: trade marketing and category management. The exploratory interviews highlight how these two types of integrative device operate, respectively, at operational and strategic levels. All of the organisations were found to operate some kind of integrative device. However, the organisations studied manifest different levels of collaboration between sales and marketing groups. The conclusion drawn from this and subsequently included in the conceptual framework is that it is the effectiveness of integrative devices, rather than their mere existence, that differentiates between higher and lower levels of sales‐marketing collaboration.

Practical implications

The effectiveness of sales‐marketing integrative devices appears to have positive effects for collaborative sales‐marketing intergroup relations. The results therefore support the development and effective use of such devices to enhance collaborative relations between sales and marketing.

Originality/value

This study reveals the importance and dimensions of effective sales‐marketing integrative devices and uses in‐depth interviews to support the development of a conceptual framework for future empirical testing. Specific hypotheses to test are developed, together with suggestions regarding the measurement of constructs.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 43 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2009

Per‐Olof Brehmer and Jakob Rehme

Key account management (KAM) programmes are a way for companies to develop existing relationships and increase sales, thus being proactive and searching for opportunities…

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4428

Abstract

Purpose

Key account management (KAM) programmes are a way for companies to develop existing relationships and increase sales, thus being proactive and searching for opportunities (which is often expected of KAM). It is also a way to meet changing customer demands arising from changes in purchasing strategy, buyers' mergers and acquisitions and the search for synergies in order to reduce costs. The purpose of this article is to analyse different key account management programmes on how they manage the sales process complexity and customer expectations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on qualitative data collected during a field study of ABB and six of their major customers, based on annual or biannual interviews with 50 individuals within ABB from 1996 to 2006 and three to ten individuals from each of the customers. Interviewees included corporate managers, key account managers and sales personnel/project managers. The customers involved in the study belonged to mining, automotive, process equipment manufacture, building technology, energy production and telecommunication sectors.

Findings

In this study three different programmes are identified and analysed: the proactive programme – which is driven by sales opportunity; the reactive programme – which is driven by customer demands; and the organisation‐based programme – which is driven by the belief in customer‐centric organisational units.

Practical implications

The paper identifies sales aspects (complexities) of KAM programmes that are handled in different ways by different types of programmes.

Originality/value

With an empirical base the paper provides a basis for understanding the reasons behind the establishment of several KAM programmes in the same corporation.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 43 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2009

F. Leff Bonney and Brian C. Williams

This paper seeks to define a new construct, salesperson opportunity recognition, which contributes to solutions selling effectiveness and efficiency.

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3820

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to define a new construct, salesperson opportunity recognition, which contributes to solutions selling effectiveness and efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

A framework for the composition of salesperson opportunity recognition as well as antecedents and outcomes is constructed from an analysis and synthesis of the extant literature on entrepreneurial cognition and creativity.

Findings

The paper identifies salesperson opportunity recognition as a distinct, multi‐dimensional construct that mediates the relationship between key organizational variables and solutions selling outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is conceptual and requires empirical development.

Originality/value

This paper describes key cognitive processes necessary for salespeople to succeed in today's solutions‐oriented, customer‐centric environment. The discussion should help sales scholars embark on new research into salesperson cognition.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 43 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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