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Imparting negative news to salespeople

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Abstract

Sales managers often are required to give negative information to their sales personnel. Perhaps the salespeople's territories will be reduced, their compensation or expense program decreased, or their positions realigned or eliminated. Although extensive research has examined delivering negative news to sales personnel, no empirical work has yet explored how that inimical information should be disseminated to sales subordinates. Scholars in organizational psychology argue that providing adverse news to employees using interpersonal sensitivity is advantageous for both the individual and the organization. To date, though, this issue has not been investigated in a selling context. Therefore, this article reports the results of an exploratory study that investigated factors that influence whether sales managers provide negative communication to salespeople in an interpersonally sensitive fashion. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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