Irish Marketing Review
The relationship between Machiavellianism and sales performance is emotionally charged. Few comments evoke more passionate responses from sales professionals and scholars of personal selling and sales management than the mere hint that selling might be Machiavellian. Yet while frequently debated, the topic is generally misunderstood.
This article is intended to clarify the misunderstanding surrounding this relationship by explaining the concept of Machiavellianism, and by examining empirical data on Machiavellianism and sales performance. Recent findings suggest the success or failure of Machiavellian tactics used during personal selling appears to be related to the organisational structure of the firm for which sales representatives sell. In loosely structured salesmarketing organisations 'so-called' high Machiavellians tend to be more successful than low Machiavellians, but in tightly structured sales-marketing organisations, high Machiavellians tend to be less successful than low Machiavellians. Managerial implications and policy considerations are discussed.
Shultz, CJ. "Machiavellianism and sales performance" in Irish Marketing Review 7, 1994. http://arrow.dit.ie/jouimriss/1
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© Mercury Publications, 1994.