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Enhancing innovation commercialization through supervisor–sales rep fit

Sebastian Hohenberg () and Christian Homburg ()
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Sebastian Hohenberg: University of Texas at Austin
Christian Homburg: University of Mannheim

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 2019, vol. 47, issue 4, 681-701

Abstract: Abstract Drawing on fit theory and the revised achievement goal theory, this study investigates supervisor–sales rep fit for innovation commercialization according to three goal orientations: learning, performance, and failure avoidance orientation. Two large-scale dyadic studies of a total of 387 supervisor–sales rep dyads revealed that supervisor–sales rep fit strongly affects the sales success of innovations but only negligibly influences the sales success of established solutions. Further investigations showed that this difference occurs because both supplementary and complementary relationships between supervisors’ and sales reps’ goal orientations can alter reps’ role stress regarding innovation selling. Moreover, results reveal that firms can magnify the effects of supervisor–sales rep fit on innovation sales success by tying sales reps’ variable compensation more closely to innovation sales. Results also show that firms interested in reducing the negative consequences of a problematic supervisor–sales rep match should facilitate and encourage supervisors’ appreciative communication with the sales reps.

Keywords: Innovation commercialization; Revised achievement goal theory; Supervisor–sales rep fit (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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