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Impacts of salespeople’s biased and unbiased performance attributions on job satisfaction: the concept of misattributed satisfaction

Impacts of salespeople’s biased and unbiased performance attributions on job satisfaction: the... This study aims to investigate an under-researched area, the impact of causal attributions (i.e. causal stability and company-related/-unrelated attributions) on salespeople’s job satisfaction following their performance appraisal.Design/methodology/approachA pre-test and a between-subjects experimental study test the effect of accurate or biased perceptions of causal attributions on salespeople’s job satisfaction. Data collected from 209 salespeople provide evidence that they make perceptual attribution errors in their appraisals of the performance outcome they achieve or do not achieve.FindingsWhen salespeople correctly attribute their performance, causal stability affects their job satisfaction. However, company-related attributions affect their satisfaction only in the case of a poor performance outcome. As expected, salespeople who make biased attributions experience misattributed or “unwarranted” satisfaction or dissatisfaction, a higher or lower satisfaction level than they would have experienced had they made proper causal attributions.Research limitations/implicationsUsing Weiner’s theory of emotion and motivation as a theoretical framework, this study confirms that cognitive appraisals of event outcomes (in this case performance reviews) impacts salespeople’s emotional experience. Furthermore, causal ascriptions following the salesperson’s performance appraisal affect job satisfaction.Practical implicationsThis study discusses how managers can ensure the continued satisfaction of their salespeople, which constitutes a stable source of motivation, by understanding their performance attributions.Originality/valueThis study introduces a new concept of misattributed job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. While anecdotally some scholars have investigated when salespeople play “the blame game”, this study shows how salespeople correctly or incorrectly ascribe blame for the outcomes and the impact on job satisfaction. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Marketing Emerald Publishing

Impacts of salespeople’s biased and unbiased performance attributions on job satisfaction: the concept of misattributed satisfaction

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References (71)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0309-0566
DOI
10.1108/ejm-11-2018-0816
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to investigate an under-researched area, the impact of causal attributions (i.e. causal stability and company-related/-unrelated attributions) on salespeople’s job satisfaction following their performance appraisal.Design/methodology/approachA pre-test and a between-subjects experimental study test the effect of accurate or biased perceptions of causal attributions on salespeople’s job satisfaction. Data collected from 209 salespeople provide evidence that they make perceptual attribution errors in their appraisals of the performance outcome they achieve or do not achieve.FindingsWhen salespeople correctly attribute their performance, causal stability affects their job satisfaction. However, company-related attributions affect their satisfaction only in the case of a poor performance outcome. As expected, salespeople who make biased attributions experience misattributed or “unwarranted” satisfaction or dissatisfaction, a higher or lower satisfaction level than they would have experienced had they made proper causal attributions.Research limitations/implicationsUsing Weiner’s theory of emotion and motivation as a theoretical framework, this study confirms that cognitive appraisals of event outcomes (in this case performance reviews) impacts salespeople’s emotional experience. Furthermore, causal ascriptions following the salesperson’s performance appraisal affect job satisfaction.Practical implicationsThis study discusses how managers can ensure the continued satisfaction of their salespeople, which constitutes a stable source of motivation, by understanding their performance attributions.Originality/valueThis study introduces a new concept of misattributed job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. While anecdotally some scholars have investigated when salespeople play “the blame game”, this study shows how salespeople correctly or incorrectly ascribe blame for the outcomes and the impact on job satisfaction.

Journal

European Journal of MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 23, 2021

Keywords: Sales force management; Job satisfaction; Causal stability; Company-related attribution; Experimental study; Sales force; Sales; Sales performance; Causal attribution

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