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In this study we are starting from the perspective that sales jobs deserves special attention for its importance, prevalence and unique characteristics. In contemporary businesses effective selling is critical to the success of economic driven organizations. The continuous ways of improvements in productivity, product quality and efficiency is not enough. So it makes clear that companies need good salespeople or to improve sales performance.
Within this theoretical topic there's commonly noted that sales people strongly differ in their performance. There are many underlies reasons for this, which can be a result of many thing including personality, training, attitude.
Many earlier studies in industrial- and organizational psychology have shown that personality factors might have some degree of utility for employee selection for variety of jobs. This is noted in the Big Five personality model. This model could measure the direct relationship between personality traits and sales performance. The Big Five personality model consists of five dimensions: neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness (Barrick & Mount, 1991). First of all neuroticism refer the tendency to exhibit poor emotional adjustment and experience negative affects. This includes anxiety, depression, insecurity, hostility and anger. Secondly, the traits of extraversion mean the frequency of being sociable, active, assertive and gregarious. Thirdly, openness to experience refers to the disposition to be uncovential, imaginative, curious, broad minded and autonomous. Fourthly, agreeableness is tendency to be courteous, trusting, caring, tolerant and soft-hearted. And the last dimension conscientiousness reflects to reliability, dependability and achievement orientation. In sum, Barrick & Mount (1991), Barrick, Stewart & Piotrowski (2002) find out in their meta-analyses that extraversion (+), conscientiousness (+) and agreeableness (-) were the three out of the five dimensions which are important to predict performance in sales jobs.
However, relatively little is known about the mechanisms trough which personality traits affect performance. (Barrick et al., 1993; Borman, White, Pulakos, & Oppler, 1991; Gellatly, 1996). Furthermore, the current scientific findings don't show a strong relationship between personality and performance. Barrick et al (2002) suggest in their research that understanding motivation is the key to explain the relationship between personality and sales performance. In addition to this Goleman (2002) find out that that leaders of sales orientated organizations plays an important role to ensure the success of company by well recruiting en socializing the new salespeople by using training and/or monitoring processes, to instill the skills and knowledge which are necessary to perform all aspects of the sales job. Those leader who better understand how to affect their followers performance can implement policies more effectively and designing programs to elevate the chance of sales success. In this way leaders affect their followers performance by using various tools of motivation and playing different roles.
In this study I will investigate in which ways sales performance is affected by personality factors and leadership. Whereby the style of the leader is considered to be an important factor in terms of motivation. Motivation could have an impact on sales people during stressful situations. In addition to this Miao et all (2006) find out that leaders tend to apply different types of motivation to enhance subordinates performance. Finally Barrick & Mount (1991) already confirm in their research that personality traits serving as predictors of sales performance. With this background information in mind we investigate the answer on the following research question: ' What is the impact of personality factors (antecedent 1) and (the style) of leadership (antecedent 2) on motivation in sales performance.
1 Relation between motivation and performance
According the literature, Mitchell (1997) described motivation as 'those psychological processes involved with the arousal, intensity, direction, and persistence of voluntary actions that are goal directed'.
By explaining those constructs intensity could be describes as how hard a person tries. Persistence is a measure of how long a person can maintain her or his effort. Whereby management could influence this kind of effort level by recognizing basic the motivational drive, which can differs by every individual (Barrick et al, 2002).
In order to understand which factors playing a central role in salespeople motivation Barrick et all (2002) did a research how motivation constructs can be measured by identifying basic goals that regulate personal behavior and determining the level of arousal, intensity and persistence associated with these goals. Barrick et all (2002) used the theories of Wigging and Trapnell (1996) and R. Hogan & Shelton (1998). In this theory aforementioned researchers identified two broad motivational intentions focusing on social interactions.
There are three factors which playing a centrale role in salespeople's motivation. The first one 'communion striving' represents actions towards obtaining acceptance in personal relationships and getting along with others. The second one is ' status striving' that focuses on actions to obtain power and dominance with a status hierarchy. However, since works works tasks are often completed without social interactions (Bakan, 1996). Barrick et all (2002) add to this theory the third dimension 'accomplishment striving'. This dimension focuses on accomplishing tasks and characterized by high task orientation. There results show that accomplishing striving is a separate construct from status- and communion striving. Finally, accomplishment striving has a positive relationship with sales performance. In contrary communion striving was not related to the performance in sales jobs.
Besides motivational orientation, also self-determination and perception of competence should be appeared key factors. According to Locke (1996) salespeople who perceive themselves to be competent will behave differently, which means more independent and reflect confidence into their work that will lead to greater success. Locke (1996) investigates the factor self-efficacy that refers to the belief of an individual that he or she has the ability to perform a certain task. The major finding is that self-efficacy influences the difficulty level of the chosen goal or accepted, the commitment to goals, the response to negative feedback or failure and the choice of task strategies. In addition to this, those with high self-efficacy are more likely to set high goals or to accept difficult formulated goals, to commit themselves to difficult goals, to respond with renewed efforts to feedbacks and to discover successful task strategies (Locke, 1996). In sum, motivational orientation, self-determination and perception of competence are all internal drivers of motivation.
Moreover, there are also external drivers of motivation. Those external drivers contribute to the level of the motivation of employees in terms of better performance within organizations. Anderson and Oliver (1987) distinguished two types of sales control systems that are used by organizations: behavioral control and outcome control. Behavioral control entails intense management involvement in training, monitoring, evaluating and compensating salespeople according to their selling behaviors rather than focusing on immediate sales outcomes. In contrary, outcome control uses incentives to reward salespeople in direct proportion to their sales outcomes. In practice this mean that most of the sales organizations employ as well behavorial (training, professional development courses) as outcome control (commission after increased sales volume) Miao et all (2006).
Taking above mentioned together, the motivation of a person is affected by internal and external factors. On the one hand internal drivers like motivational orientation, self-determination and perception of competence are researched and on the other hand (external drivers) the impact of leadership styles by using behavioral and outcome control are investigated. In addition to this, Smith & Rupp (2003) argues that powerful, visionary leadership such as rewarding is important in motivating employees. From that point of view we assumed in this study that leadership has also an effect on subordinated performance.
2 Leadership: antecedent of motivation
Leaders in organizations strive to maximize the performance of their subordinates in order to achieve organizations goals. The style of leader plays a fundamental role in achieving organizational goals (Bass, 1985). From this point of view the style of a leader is considered to be important to enhance the performance of subordinates. But even, the employees play an important role, like their perception about the style of the leader, their feeling about the ability to perform, as attaining organizational goals are not underestimated factors.
2a) Definition of leadership
According the literature there's no universal definition formulated by researchers. The definitions vary in terms of emphasis on leader ability, individual versus group orientation, influence relationships and personal traits. Furthermore definitions also vary whether they are primary normative or descriptive in nature.
Some examples of definitions are as following:
Rauch & Behling (1984) described leadership as the process of influencing the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement. According Katz & Kahn (1978), they described leadership as the influential increment over and above mechanical compliance with the routine directives of the organization. Finally, Yukl (2002) described leadership as the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how it can be done effectively, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish the shared objectives.
However, there no universal definition of leadership, but it's according to Yukl (2002) essential to make a distinction between management and leadership. Both constructs are closed related terms and are often used wrongly in different contexts. Yukl (2002) defines that leadership is especially related to more personal aspects by focusing to influence subordinates in behaviour and performance to desired direction. Management in contrary is more a rational process aimed at the technical aspect of leadership, examples as setting, establishing action plans, monitoring results. But to be come a successful manager in modern organizations it requires leadership.
2b) Transactional leadership vs transformational leadership
Burns (1978) attempted to link the roles of leadership and followers. Burns investigated two types of leadership: transactional and transformational. Nowadays they often used in common literature.
One the one hand transactional leadership, transactional leadership refers leadership models with the focus on the exchange process between leaders and their followers (Burns, 1978). Den Hartog & Koopman (2001) mentioned this is as a process where followers received certain valued outcomes (e.g. wages, prestige) when they act according the wishes of the leader. Additionally Bass (1985) characterized the transactional leader as someone who operates in an existing system or culture. This type of leader pays attention to time constraints and efficiency and mostly prefer to avoid risks. The transactional leader is effective in predictable and stable environments. Furthermore, there is an equitable leader-member exchange relationship between the leader and the followers. In contrast to transformational leadership this style has a low degree of involvement and leader activity (Bass, 1985).
Within transactional leadership Bass (1985) made a distinction between four dimensions of transactional leadership. Those are contigent reward, active management, passive management by exeption and laissez faire. From those which are mentioned is contigent reward the most active form. In this type of leadership the results will be generate by rewarding efforts trough material and tangible aspects. Santos & Santora (2001) show that the negative effect of contingent leadership is that leaders are only focused at profit and forget other performance indicators.
On the other hand, transformational ledership. Transformational leadership