Date of Conferral







Maxwell Rainforth


Organization theory proposes that managers exert control over the behavior of salespeople and the outcomes salespeople are expected to deliver. The purpose of this quantitative, nonexperimental study was to examine the relationships between activity control, capability control, and outcome control and salesperson performance, as well as the moderating effects of product complexity, task complexity, and number of accounts on the control-performance relationships for business-to-business sales personnel. The framework for the study was based in the concept of organizational control. Data analysis included hierarchical regression of a convenience sample of 374 survey responses from salespeople to analyze the direct and moderating relationships between perceived sales management control and salesperson performance. Data were collected using Fluid Surveys. Although significant positive effects were identified between outcome control, activity control, and capability control on salesperson performance, as well as a significant negative effect of task complexity on salesperson performance, no moderating effects were found. Because sales management behavior impacts salesperson satisfaction, retention, and performance, identifying the positive impact of activity, capability, and outcome control, and the negative impact of task complexity on salesperson performance provides sales managers with important guidance when considering the elements of an effective approach to sales management. Finally, providing managers with specific guidance regarding management approach has implications for positive social change within organizations by improving salesperson satisfaction with their jobs, their manager, and the organization for whom they work.