Senior management has long struggled to find ways to improve performance of the employees in their organization. In that effort, researchers have studied management and leadership practices to identify traits, behaviors, approaches, theories and philosophies that generate greater performance from the workforce. In the study of leadership there has been very little research conducted on the differences between sales leadership and sales management. The sales function is so different from other functions in a company that it requires a different type of leadership and management. It is not known if the principles of leadership and management studied in other parts of an organization apply to the sales function. Specifically, this study utilized Tannenbaum and Schmidt's (1958) continuum of leadership behaviors as a basis of classification of the manager. Once classified, the study compared perceptions and preferences of the immediate supervisor behaviors of sales and non-sales employees. This study showed that, although similar, the preferences of sales people are more subordinate oriented behaviors (a 6 on the leadership continuum), at a greater degree from their immediate manager. Non-sales people also preferred a subordinate oriented manager but not to the same degree (a 5 on the leadership continuum) and to a lesser extent.
|Subjects||Management; Organization theory|
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