Performance trends and salesperson evaluations: The moderating roles of evaluation task, managerial risk propensity, and firm strategic orientation

Academic Article


  • Understanding managers' evaluations of salesperson performance is important for both theoretical and pragmatic reasons. We examine several factors that moderate the influence of performance trends on salesperson evaluations provided by practicing sales managers. Preliminary data from a pilot study indicate that performance trends exert a stronger influence on salesperson evaluations that are prospective (e.g., making a hiring decision) rather than retrospective (e.g., providing an annual evaluation). Study 1's findings reveal an additional contingency by demonstrating that these trend effects were particularly pronounced for risk-taking sales managers providing prospective evaluations. Finally, evidence from Study 2 documents the moderating influence of firm strategic orientation by showing that trend effects were most prominent for managers making forward-looking evaluations under the aegis of a prospector-based strategic orientation. The latter two studies also offer mediational evidence indicating that trends influence performance evaluations by affecting inferences about a salesperson's future productivity. © 2012 PSE National Educational Foundation. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Barone MJ; DeCarlo TE
  • Start Page

  • 207
  • End Page

  • 223
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 2