Wotruba, Thomas R.
March 1989
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Spring89, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p22
Academic Journal
The article determines how goal setting relates to the behavior and performance of salespersons. As a by-product, this study will document the extent to which goal setting is done among sales agents for direct selling firms. In addition, the findings suggest some avenues for further research on goal setting for company sales people, manufacturers' representatives and other types of sales agents. Specific hypotheses are presented after a brief review of background literature. It is seen that the goals-performance relationship involves whether goals are assigned, set participatively or self-assigned. Most goal-setting studies involved goals, which were assigned by superiors or arrived at jointly through participation by subordinate and superior. But one study included self-assigned personal goals, and found that these predicted performance better than goals assigned by superior. The study of department store salesperson involved self-assigned goals, which were found to relate to performance. In addition, this study found that salespeople attributing greater importance to goals also set their own goals at higher levels, which subsequently lead to greater achievement.


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