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Salesperson's customer orientation: a reconceptualization and a new definition by Ramendra Singh and Abraham Koshy (Working Paper, No. 2008-04-01 2071)

By: Singh, Ramendra.
Contributor(s): Koshy, Abraham.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Ahmedabad Indian Institute of Management 2008Description: 53 p.Subject(s): Customer Orientation | Customer-oriented services | Customer satisfactionDDC classification: WP 2008-04-01 (2071) Summary: This study critically examines the existing domains, conceptualizations and operationalizations of the salespersonऱs customer orientation constructs present in the literature. The widely used Salesperson orientation-Customer orientation (SOCO) construct (its domain, definition and scale) is examined in detail, and several inconsistencies were found. We also examine other individual-level and organizational-level orientation constructs, including market orientation, in order to appropriately delineate the boundaries of the salespersonऱs customer orientation construct. Based on a comprehensive review of literature on the marketing concept, and related literature on several other relevant orientation constructs, we suggest a new definition of this mid-level construct. Not only is our new definition more encompassing (to include all activities of the salesperson related to customers, and not just their interactions with the customers) but is also more forward-looking (salespersonऱs enhanced role not just as need-fulfiller, but more as customersऱ value co-creator). We sincerely hope that the new definition suggested by us would encourage scale development efforts from researchers, that would aid in further reducing (if not removing)the several inconsistencies present in the literature related to salespersonsऱ customer orientation, and its effect on their performance and effectiveness.
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Working Paper Vikram Sarabhai Library
WP 2008-04-01 (2071) (Browse shelf) Available WP002071

This study critically examines the existing domains, conceptualizations and operationalizations of the salespersonऱs customer orientation constructs present in the literature. The widely used Salesperson orientation-Customer orientation (SOCO) construct (its domain, definition and scale) is examined in detail, and several inconsistencies were found. We also examine other individual-level and organizational-level orientation constructs, including market orientation, in order to appropriately delineate the boundaries of the salespersonऱs customer orientation construct. Based on a comprehensive review of literature on the marketing concept, and related literature on several other relevant orientation constructs, we suggest a new definition of this mid-level construct. Not only is our new definition more encompassing (to include all activities of the salesperson related to customers, and not just their interactions with the customers) but is also more forward-looking (salespersonऱs enhanced role not just as need-fulfiller, but more as customersऱ value co-creator). We sincerely hope that the new definition suggested by us would encourage scale development efforts from researchers, that would aid in further reducing (if not removing)the several inconsistencies present in the literature related to salespersonsऱ customer orientation, and its effect on their performance and effectiveness.

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