Salespeople’s reward preference methodological analysis

  • Echchakoui SaidEmail author
Original Article


Research on salespeople’s preferences for rewards lacks consistency, especially regarding the importance of reward recognition. Contrary to the theoretical expectation, they found the recognition is less ranked by salespeople. These researches used ordinal or cardinal pairwise comparisons and explain these founding inconsistencies using context, such as industry standards and culture. This study argues that these results’ discrepancies may be attributed to the methodology used by researchers. To show our view, this paper demonstrates that ordinal and cardinal pairwise comparisons fail the conditions of Arrow’s impossibility theorem. With a case of 99 call center agents, we compare the salespeople’s reward preference results using five methods: (1) ordinal pairwise comparison method, (2) cardinal pairwise comparison method, (3) analytical hierarchy process (AHP), (4) fuzzy AHP, and fuzzy AHP-TOPSIS (technical order preference by similarity to the ideal solution). Results show except of salary that takes first place for each method, finding of two classes of methods are distinguishable. The first class includes the ordinal and cardinal methods, in which salespeople’s preferences for recognition rank last. The second class, which contains AHP, fuzzy AHP, and fuzzy AHP-TOPSIS, orders recognition in three or four positions.


Reward preference methodology Pairwise comparisons AHP method Fuzzy logic Fuzzy AHP-TOPSIS Salespeople 


Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Quebec at RimouskiLévisCanada

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