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Open AccessArticle

Sales Control Systems and Salesperson Commitment: The Moderating Role of Behavior Uncertainty

by Miao Li 1, Luluo Peng 2,* and Guijun Zhuang 3
1
School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun 130022, China
2
School of Business, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
3
School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2589; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072589
Received: 5 March 2020 / Revised: 23 March 2020 / Accepted: 23 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Although sales control has been identified by previous literature as an effective tool to promote salesperson commitment, unclear categorization of the focal variables makes existing findings confounding. This paper aims to provide more nuanced understanding about the relation between sales control systems and salesperson commitment by categorizing sales control into outcome control, activity control, and capability control. Moreover, we explore the moderating role of behavioral uncertainty, which includes sales cycle uncertainty and behavioral content uncertainty. Using a sample of 208 salespersons in China, we find the following results: (1) sales cycle uncertainty weakens the positive impact of outcome control on salesperson commitment and the negative relationship between activity control and salesperson commitment; (2) behavioral content uncertainty strengthens the positive link between outcome control and salesperson commitment and the negative impact of activity control on salesperson commitment; and (3) both sales cycle uncertainty and behavioral content uncertainty strengthen the positive relationship between capability control and salesperson commitment. This research enriches knowledge about sales control systems and offers insights into the important contextual role of behavior uncertainty that has been largely ignored by prior research in the sales force control literature. View Full-Text
Keywords: sales force control systems; behavior uncertainty; salesperson commitment; outcome control, activity control; capability control sales force control systems; behavior uncertainty; salesperson commitment; outcome control, activity control; capability control
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Li, M.; Peng, L.; Zhuang, G. Sales Control Systems and Salesperson Commitment: The Moderating Role of Behavior Uncertainty. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2589.

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