University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business

Back to Search Results

• “Are Good Salespeople Born or Made? An Implicit Theories Perspective with Implications for Hiring and Training,”

Author(s): Corinne Novell, Karen Machleit, Jane Sojka

Status: Published
Year: 2016
Publication Name: Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management
Volume: 36, Issue: 4, Page Number(s): 309-332


Considering implicit theories in a sales context can provide a framework for better understanding salesperson motivation and behavior. The current research develops, tests, and examines the relevance of an Implicit Theories of Selling Ability (ITSA) measure, which measures the extent to which a person believes selling is an incremental (made) ability versus an entity (born) ability. After pre-testing the ITSA measure, two studies found an unfavorable pattern of outcomes associated with an entity belief of selling ability, consistent with research in other domains. Experimental validity for ITSA is demonstrated, thus supporting a direct relationship between ITSA and sales-relevant constructs, and suggesting manipulation of ITSA as a potential training intervention. This research extends past sales research on implicit theories by developing a salesspecific implicit theories measure and by examining goal orientations and behavior within the social-cognitive model (SCM). Conceptualizing sales performance behaviors from this SCM perspective reveals important considerations for both researchers and practitioners regarding salesperson hiring, training, and placement. Keywords: implicit


Google Scholar Link