The effects of sales supervisor relationships on work meaning: The case of Canadian and Chinese salespersons

Henry FOCK, Frederick H K YIM, Michael Rodriguez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the meaning of work-an individual's understanding of the purpose and significance of his or her work-is often discussed, the issue of how to enrich the meaning of work for salespeople remains poorly understood. This study examines the role of sales manager-salesperson relationships in the development of work meaning in a cross-cultural context. To better understand how work meaning might differ in Eastern (collectivist) and Western (individualist) cultures, data were gathered from salespersons in the Chinese and Canadian telecommunications industries. Findings suggest that the development of work meaning among Canadian salespeople is ascribed to the perceptions of customer orientation and self-determination. Conversely, in China, a quality relationship with one's sales supervisor is a direct factor in the development of work meaning. Managers of global sales forces should carefully consider the cultural differences of their salespersons and how a close personal relationship can impact the understanding of the purpose and significance of work for their sales team. After discussing the findings, managerial implications and suggestions for future research are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1077
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume39
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • Customer orientation
  • Sales
  • Self-determination
  • Supervisor relationship
  • Work meaning

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