Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Three groups of salesman were administered Snyder's Self-Monitoring scale in an effort to determine the importance of SM to a salesman's performance. Previous literature has indicated that it is important to a salesman's success for him to possess, (1) effective communication skills, (2) the ability to create a climate of perceived similarity or trust, (3) the ability to accurately sense and interpret the prospect's affective or attitudinal responses, and (4) the ability to adapt oneself appropriately to a variety of situations and prospect responses. Moreover, the research on SM has indicated that self-monitoring individuals possess or should possess these attributes. A review of the sales literature and an interpretation of the sales situation led to the formulation of three hypotheses concerning the relationship between SM and sales performance. First, SM would be positively related to performance for all groups of salesmen. Second, the relationship between SM and measures of performance would be greatest for life insurance agents, less for real estate agents, and least for automobile salesmen. Finally, that SM would be more strongly related to subjective measures of performance than to objective measures of performance. The results of the study failed to support the hypotheses. Although there were significant differences on salesmen's SM scores according to the type of sales sold, there were no significant correlations between SM scores and the measures of performance used. Recent research on the SM scale has indicated that it may actually consist of three distinct subscales (factors). Consequently, the data were reanalyzed using subscale scores. There were significant differences among groups of salesmen on two of the three subscale scores, however, the difference was opposite that assumed by the rationale underlying the hypotheses. Furthermore, most of the relevant correlations between SM and performance were again nonsignificant, the one exception being attributable to chance. It was concluded that although the study found very little evidence of a relationship between SM and measures of performance, it cannot be taken to signify that such a relationship is nonexistant. The role of SM could well be moderated by such other aspects of the sales interaction process as product tangibility and price negotiability.