Does Technological Self-Efficacy Decrease New Salesperson Job Insecurity: An Abstract
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A well-established influencer of salesperson job performance that has not received as much attention over the years is job insecurity. Given the technological revolution that has been occurring in the field of professional selling for several decades, requiring salespeople to become more technologically proficient than their predecessors ever had to be, job insecurity regarding this unique aspect of professional selling is exceedingly overdue for academic inquiry. Job insecurity as an influencer of job performance has not received as much academic research attention as its counterparts. Chaker et al. (2016: 344) unambiguously declare that “salesperson insecurity has been largely neglected in the literature.” Ahearne et al.’s (2004) study on the impact of customer relationship management (CRM) technology on sales performance showed technology has an observable “disabling effect” on sales performance. Recognizing that the relationship between technology and sales performance is dependent on the salesperson’s level of ability, their study calls for further research “into the differing relationships between different expertise classes of users,” and into technological proficiency’s moderating effect on sales performance, yet not on the its possible effect on salesperson job insecurity. Johnson and Bharadwaj (2005) reported that firms were developing, “web sites designed to provide information and conduct transactions with customers, replacing many routine sales force activities…heightening job insecurity concerns” (p. 3). More than a decade later, their portentous observation demands further investigation. This study will investigate if technological self-efficacy creates a less insecure salesperson among newer salespeople compared to more experienced and established salespeople who learned how to sell without digital supplementation. This current study strives to help remedy this overlooked enigmatic gap in the existing literature of professional sales. It will not only contribute to the body of theoretical scholarship in this field but will additionally provide sales managers and practitioners with new and relevant information, which can aid in improving the performances of both new and established sales force members.