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Sales Role Enrichment: Applying the Job Characteristics Model to New Zealand Salespeople

This study examined sales roles and salespeople in New Zealand through the lens of the Job Characteristics Model (JCM). Specifically, the direct relationships between role enrichment characteristics, psychological states, and job satisfaction were examined as well as the moderation effects of growth need strength (GNS), locus of control (LOC) and openness to experience (OTE) within these relationships. One hundred and ninety-nine salespeople completed an online survey which asked them to provide information about their role and personality. Respondents came from a number of industries, with real estate, fashion and electronics featuring most prominently. Following reliability analysis and factor analysis, correlation analyses were conducted to ascertain the direct relationships between role enrichment, critical psychological states and job satisfaction. Moderation analysis was conducted to provide information about the effects of GNS, LOC and OTE. The results provided support for the all the hypothesised direct relationships in the JCM, with all relationships found to be significant and positive. The findings confirmed that role enrichment, critical psychological states, and job satisfaction are positively interrelated for New Zealand salespeople. The results also suggested that the JCM has a high level of applicability within a New Zealand sales context. The results were less supportive of the proposed moderation hypotheses, with moderation only observed in three of twenty-four analyses. LOC moderated the relationship between skill variety and experienced meaningfulness, as well as between feedback and knowledge of results. GNS moderated the relationship between experienced meaningfulness and job satisfaction. No moderation effects were observed for OTE. The findings of this study indicate that role enrichment is an important consideration in designing sales roles from which New Zealand sales professionals can derive high levels of job satisfaction. Though causation cannot be inferred from the results of this study, there appeared to be reasonable support for the notion that enriched roles enhance the psychological states of salespeople, which in turn increases their job satisfaction. In particular, this appeared to be an appropriate consideration for individuals with high growth need strength levels and an internal LOC. Thus, it is suggested that employers of salespeople endeavour to provide enrichment to their salespeople, as well as seek to develop individuals with high GNS and internal LOC in roles where enrichment is introduced. Longitudinal research into the JCM within a New Zealand sales context is recommended to provide confirmatory information regarding the direction of causality between role enrichment characteristics, critical psychological states and job satisfaction. Further investigation of specific sales role types is also recommended in order to provide data that is applicable to specific industries or role types. Further research into role enrichment dimensions may also be warranted in order to ascertain whether the distinctions between role dimensions outlined in the JCM are appropriate within a New Zealand sales context.
Type of thesis
Liddell, C. J. (2013). Sales Role Enrichment: Applying the Job Characteristics Model to New Zealand Salespeople (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7917
University of Waikato
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