Towards an Instrumentality Theory of Salesforce Motivation: A Pragmatic Model

Joseph I. Uduji


Finding an effective combination of motivations may be easier if a sales manager understands some of the behavioural factors that affect salesforce motivation. This study was undertaken to determine the behavioural factors that relate to the salesperson’s needs and to the conditional links between performance and rewards and between effort and performance. The study was guided by the Expectancy Theory which posits that motivation is high when workers believe that high levels of effort lead to high performance and high performance leads to the attainment of desire outcomes. A sample size of 244 salespeople and managers in selected manufacturing firms in Nigeria was determined using the Taro Yamane formula. Data from the study were analyzed using descriptive and inferential approaches. Simple tables, charts and table of means were used as descriptive tools. For hypothesis testing, anova, t-test and correlation analysis were used to judge the significance of the result obtained. Principle component (pc) extraction model was used in the multiple-factor analysis to predict inter dependency and interaction outcome among the variable. The result shows a satisfied significant of the independent variables at P = 0.05 level of significant and a corresponding values of F = 129.925, indicating that the amount of effort the salesperson desires to expand on each activity or task associated with the job – the individual’s motivation – can strongly influence his or her job performance. As with expectancies, sales managers should be concerned with both the magnitude and the accuracy of their subordinates’ instrumentalities. When the magnitude of a salesperson’s instrumentality estimates is relatively large, he or she believes there is a high probability that improved performance will led to more rewards. Conversely, he or she will be more willing to expend the effort necessary to achieve better performance. Therefore, given a salesperson’s expectancy instrumentality perceptions and valences for rewards, this study suggests that a sales manager can predict the level of that person’s motivation to expend effort on a specific job activity. To do this, one multiplies the person’s expectancies that the activity will lead to a given performance on various dimensions by valence for this performance and then sums across all performance dimensions.

Keyword: Expectancy, Instrumentality, Valence, SalesForce Motivation, Supervisory Variables, Job Satisfaction, Principle Component, Manufacturing Firms.

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