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Learning and Performance Goal Orientation of Salespeople Revisited: The Role of Performance-Approach and Performance-Avoidance Orientations

Lawrence S. Silver, Sean Dwyer and Bruce Alford
The Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management
Vol. 26, No. 1 (Winter, 2006), pp. 27-38
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40472040
Page Count: 12
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Learning and Performance Goal Orientation of Salespeople Revisited: The Role of Performance-Approach and Performance-Avoidance Orientations
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Abstract

This study revisits the conceptualization and operationalization of salesperson goal orientation, a mid-level construct in the achievement motivation model. Goal orientation has, in recent sales studies, been conceptualized to be comprised of a learning and a performance goal orientation. However, studies examining goal orientations relationship with salesperson performance and behavior have found inconsistent results. Guided by seminal studies in achievement motivation theory, this study proposes that performance goal orientation is comprised of two distinct components: a performanceapproach goal orientation and a performance-avoidance goal orientation, the latter of which is grounded in fear of failure. The contemporary model of goal orientation is tested and compared with the classic model. The results indicate that the classic model more accurately captures salesperson goal orientation and its relationship with salesperson performance. Notably, a performance-avoidance goal orientation is negatively related to salesperson performance.

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