"Be myself" or "Be friends"? Exploring the mechanism between self-construal and sales performance

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationAsian Business and Management
Online published24 Apr 2020
Publication statusOnline published - 24 Apr 2020


This research examines the roles of salespeople's self-construals in shaping customer orientation (CO) and influencing sales performance. Using data from 362 salespersons from 48 firms in China, we find that salespeople with independent self-construal only focus on task-oriented activities (i.e., functional CO). In contrast, salespeople with interdependent self-construal show a stronger inclination to establish personal relationships with customers (i.e., relational CO) when completing functional tasks. Moreover, the interaction between the two self-construals positively impacts functional CO, but not relational CO. Finally, when levels of market volatility increase, functional CO more positively influences sales performance while relational CO less positively influences sales performance. These findings guide firms' salespeople selection and management. Furthermore, when firms motivate salespeople to adopt their preferred CO, they need to devote particular attention to market volatility, which moderates the effectiveness of CO on sales performance.

Research Area(s)

  • Independent self-construal, Interdependent self-construal, Functional customer orientation, Relational customer orientation, Sales performance, Market volatility, CUSTOMER ORIENTATION, DECISION-MAKING, SALESPERSON, CULTURE, IMPACT, CONTINGENCY, BEHAVIOR, ROLES, TRUST, INTERDEPENDENCE