Unintended effects of marketing messages on salespeople’s cynicism

Published on Jun 28, 2016in European Journal of Marketing
· DOI :10.1108/EJM-07-2014-0440
Olalekan K. Seriki2
Estimated H-index: 2
Kenneth R. Evans30
Estimated H-index: 30
+ 2 AuthorsAmanda Helm1
Estimated H-index: 1
Purpose This paper aims to examine how external marketing messages, which are generally used to convey company and product information to external target audiences, influence job attitudes and behaviors of salespeople. Design/methodology/approach The study is conducted based on survey data on 348 salespeople working at regional banks in the Midwestern USA. The relationships among salespeople’s perceptions of marketing messages (i.e. in terms of value incongruence and claim inaccuracy), organizational cynicism, job attitudes (i.e. organizational commitment and job satisfaction) and behaviors (i.e. extra-role performance) are empirically tested. Findings Salespeople’s perceptions of value incongruence and claim inaccuracy of marketing messages heighten organizational cynicism, which in turn negatively impacts on organizational commitment, job satisfaction and extra-role performance. Also, inaccurate claim directly decreases job attitudes and behaviors. Research limitations/implications The results are limited to salespeople in financial institutions, and future research should investigate perceptions of non-customer contact employees in other industry contexts. Future investigation may also include objective performance metrics and consumer satisfaction ratings. Practical implications Service firms should strive to align salespeople’s perceptions of marketing messages with firms’ intended goals from those messages. Originality/value Drawing on attitude theory and perspectives from sales literature, social psychology and organizational behavior literature, in the first of such investigations, the authors studied the impact of external marketing messages on salespeople’s cynicism, job attitudes and behaviors.
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