Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marketing (Business Administration)

First Advisor

Richard G. Netemeyer


Sales performance represents an important ongoing research stream to both academicians and practitioners. It is widely recognized that personal/individual factors affect how salespeople perform. Despite the numerous studies, the search for the most powerful determinants of salesperson performance has largely been unsuccessful (Churchill et al. 1985). This dissertation makes another attempt to understand the effects of select personal factors on salespeople's performance. In particular, a neglected personal factor, salesperson creativity, is introduced as a direct predictor of performance. Based on the social psychological research on creativity and the in-depth personal interviews with sales managers in various industries, the author defines salesperson creativity as new ideas generated, and novel behaviors exhibited, by the salesperson in performing his or her job activities. Drawing on motivational theory, social cognitive theory, and social psychological theories of creativity, the research proposes an individual-level model of salesperson performance. The model posits work effort and creativity as direct antecedents of performance, trait competitiveness and self-efficacy as indirect predictors, and selling experience as having both direct and indirect impacts on performance. The model was tested using two considerably different samples (real estate agents and outdoor billboard advertising salespeople). Six of the eight hypothesized relationships in the model were supported across the samples. The empirical findings highlight the incremental explanatory contribution of the creativity construct to sales performance, the critical influence of self-efficacy on creativity, and the overall validity of the model. A scale of salesperson creativity with acceptable psychometric measurement properties is also developed.