David W. Cravens
The organization's effectiveness can be measured based on sales, market position, customer satisfaction, and profits, relative to competition and internal objectives. Effectiveness is a summary assessment of the sales organization's outcomes, and may be determined for the entire organization or for smaller units such as regions and districts. Sales unit effectiveness is a composite assessment of the unit's performance. Importantly, effectiveness and salesperson performance are distinct although closely related constructs. The salesperson contributes to unit effectiveness along with other determinants including the sales manager, business competencies, and the market and competitive environment. This article proposes and examines a conceptual framework for analysis and decision-making concerning sales organization effectiveness. It discusses important determinants of effectiveness including sales management control, salesperson performance, and sales unit design. Sales management is a core determinant of effectiveness, including management processes, design of the organization, and manager performance. Each salesperson also contributes to effectiveness.
Thomas N. Ingram, Raymond W. Laforge, and Charles H. Schwepker
This article considers the importance of job stress in the sales force to be an important management concern in many sales organizations. The complex business environment faces salespeople with escalating demands and expectations. There is continuous pressure to perform in the sales forces of most organizations. Stress is further compounded as salespeople regularly face non-routine situations, and often must work without the support that comes with supervision on a daily basis. The objective of this article is to examine the antecedents and consequences of job stress and to consider initiatives for reducing job stress among salespeople. While eliminating job stress in most sales organizations may be unfeasible, impractical, or even undesirable, the major negative effects of job stress require management initiatives to gain a reasonable level of control over salespeople's job stress. Finally, this article also develops a framework of salesperson job stress including antecedents, role stressors, and consequences.
Pacey Foster and Richard E. Ocejo
Brokerage roles in creative industries have been widely recognized but rarely studied systematically. In the research that has been done, the term gatekeeper has been used to define actors at many different positions in the networks that connect creative producers with audiences for their products. Using the concept of brokerage from social network theory, we clarify existing research on gatekeepers and cultural intermediaries by distinguishing among different structural positions, functions and motivations of brokers in creative industries. In addition to the familiar tertius gaudens and tertius iungens orientations identified by Burt (1992) and Obstfeld (2005), we add a third tertius transferens (‘the third who translates’) brokerage motivation which captures the translation and symbolic work of intermediaries in creative industries. We offer several empirical examples from the music industry and new service professions that highlight unanswered questions about the operation of modern cultural brokers.
Elizabeth C. Kurucz, Barry A. Colbert, and David Wheeler
The purpose of this article is to provide a general summary of the key value propositions evident in the research on the business case for corporate social responsibility (CSR), described as four general ‘types’ of the business case, or four modes of value creation. It then presents a critique of these approaches (including identifying some problems inherent in the construct of CSR itself) and offers some principles for constructing a ‘better’ business case. Its intent is not to conduct a thorough review of studies analyzing the relationship between CSR and financial performance, as that has been well done elsewhere. Rather it seeks to unearth assumptions underlying dominant approaches in an effort to build a more robust business case for CSR that can move beyond existing limitations.
This article reviews the rapidly changing business environment, and highlights it as an important and challenging influence on sales organizations. It examines the dynamic environment impacting the sales organization. A core characteristic of the changing sales environment is its complexity. Dimensions of the environment include globalization, changes in channel delivery and information provision, customer co-production and de-massification of the marketplace, hyper-competition and buyer concentration, sales force automation, customer expectations, ethics expectations, and increased emphasis on wellbeing in the workplace. Each of these environmental forces interacts with the others, significantly compounding analysis of the effects on the sales organization. This article examines a number of key changes in the contemporary business and social environment and discusses their implications regarding sales and sales management research and practice. It also considers psychological levels of analysis from the perspective of the individual salesperson or sales manager, possible dyads, teams, and stakeholder or wider society.
This chapter examines collaboration—the shared commitment of resources to the mutually agreed aims of a number of partners—and innovation management. Very few organizations, if any, can innovate alone, and collaboration with a select number of partners creates the complementarities necessary for innovation, encourages learning, and better equips organizations to deal with uncertainty and complexity. The chapter explores collaborations between firms and between businesses and universities, government policies for collaboration, the role of brokers, and collaboration and technical standards. The management of collaboration has to deal with the instabilities and tensions inherent in this organizational form. Critical tasks include partner selection and structuring and organizing the collaboration. The chapter argues the advantages of managing collaboration as part of the architecture of innovation ecosystems.
Masaaki Kotabe and Crystal X. Jiang
International business research is probably more influenced by various forces of the economic and political climates than its domestic (or generic) counterpart. The emergence of new market economies in Eastern Europe, China, India, and Brazil, the consolidation of the European Union, as well as a decade of economic stagnation and recent resurgence in Japan's economy has given global competition greater significance. This article looks at research in international marketing to see if the discipline has overcome the deficiencies outlined in the previous studies. It examines the state of the art in international marketing research, with particular emphasis on conceptual frameworks and theory development. Its primary focus is on studies published since the year 2000 because the first decade of the twenty-first century has been characterized by changes in virtually all aspects of businesses and personal life.
Gino Cattani, Simone Ferriani, and Mariachiara Colucci
Building on socio-structural explanations, this article elaborates on the tension between individual actors’ positions along the core-periphery continuum of the social field and their ability to gain legitimacy for their creative work. Peripheral actors are less constrained by the field’s normative pressures and free to experiment with un-conventional ideas and solutions, but they may struggle to mobilize attention and harness the symbolic and material resources needed to legitimate their work. By contrast, core players are more effective at leveraging networks to build consensus, but they often exhibit a propensity toward more incremental work due to their higher levels of assimilation into the conventions of the field. To resolve this tension this article advances a strategy which we term optimal network structuration strategy. This strategy implies forming ties that link the two ends of the core-periphery spectrum, in the attempt to increase the likelihood of generating novelty while also enhancing the ability to make such novelty manifest and visible to the field. The theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
Thomas W. Leigh
This article examines the role of the direct sales force as a core enterprise strategy and capability relative to the organization's customer relationship management (CRM) system. It discusses the CRM models implied by product leadership, cost leadership, and customer intimacy strategies. These CRM models provide a basis for defining the role of the sales force compared to alternative go-to-market channels in accessing and relating to customers. This article examines the role of the sales force for four customer archetypes: transactional, solution selling, relationship selling, and strategic partnerships. Market-driven companies are likely to be more competent in organizational learning about markets and customers compared to internally-oriented competitors. In examining this issue, this article discusses the role of the direct sales force concerning four specific CRM processes: market sensing, customer sensing, customer linking, and cross-functional spanning.
Andrea L. Dixon
This article synthesizes current knowledge in the area of customer management, and encourages the organization to be proactive in this essential role, which is an important contributor to business success. It addresses the necessary task of how the organization should identify the right customers from the existing customer base. It reviews the available metrics used for customer analysis and decision-making. Furthermore, it also examines the relevant measurement issues associated with the composite profitability measure, customer lifetime value (CLV). CLV can contribute important insights in selecting the right customers to include in the organization's portfolio. This article also discusses customer portfolio analysis. Significant value is gained from systematic customer assessment for acquiring, growing, and retaining the best mix of customers to generate the strongest return on investment. The process of managing the customer portfolio guides the firm in directing the right marketing efforts to the most appropriate marketing strategies.