Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Thomas Brashear- Alejandro

Second Advisor

Yanfen You

Third Advisor

Jessica Pearlman

Fourth Advisor

Rushana Khusainova

Subject Categories

Marketing | Sales and Merchandising


Salesforces are important to firms as they drive a significant part of the firm’s brand, financial, and relational performance. Salesforce performance, job satisfaction, and motivation have remained key topics of interest to practitioners as well as researchers (Hansen & Levin, 2016; Pullins, 2001; Williams & Plouffe, 2007). This dissertation includes three essays. Essay 1 aims to address a lingering question theoretically and managerially. What is the relationship between satisfaction and performance? That question is assessed with a unique longitudinal simultaneous design to test four leading hypotheses of the causal relationship between salespeople’s job satisfaction and performance. The study’s design addresses various theoretical and methodological limitations of previous research, including the longitudinal relationships between the variables, a large cohort of insurance salespeople tracked over multiple periods, and objective performance measurement.

Essay 2 fills additional gaps in the sales management and management literature by exploring motivation changes among salespeople. The study is grounded in the Expectancy Theory of Motivation combined with the socialization theory to understand motivation changes in the early employment of salespeople. The study longitudinally assesses detailed elements of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. This study contributes to sales and motivation literature by providing a theoretical understanding of motivation dynamics in one work role, over time and beginning at a critical time, the onboarding stage.

Essay 3 proposes a bibliometrics analysis of salespeople's motivation literature. The goals of this bibliometric study are to map 50 years of salesforce motivation research with regard to performance analysis of the major papers and authors. Second, the analysis will map keywords and development themes that have been the most salient trends. The literature will undergo a science mapping to go beyond the key papers and authors to show the intellectual structure of motivation literature and the migration of trends in the literature. The final contribution of this bibliometric study is to analyze the research fronts and future research directions.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, March 01, 2024