Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

Jody Crosno

Committee Member

Paula Fitzgerald

Committee Member

Wyatt Schrock

Committee Member

Xinchun Wang


Current research in sales suggests that salesperson self-efficacy, which is a person’s belief about his/her ability to achieve a desired level of performance in a given task, affects sales performance positively. The logic behind this positive effect is that people who exhibit a high level of self-efficacy have increased motivation and thus exert increased efforts towards completing a task. Research in psychology, however, suggests that there can be a downside to self-efficacy. Drawing on perceptual control and ego depletion theories, this dissertation explores two possible dark side effects of self-efficacy in a sales context: (1) decreased salesperson effort engendered by complacency and (2) increased salesperson opportunism due to lower self-control. Furthermore, this research examines role stress as a potential moderator of the relationship between self-efficacy and sales outcomes. Two studies are designed to examine the hypothesized relationships: (1) a cross-sectional survey of sales representatives in the U.S. and (2) a 2 (Self-efficacy: High v. Low) x 2 (Role Stress: High v. Low) between subjects experiment. The primary contribution of this research is identifying the processes through which self-efficacy has deleterious effects on salesperson performance.

Included in

Marketing Commons