We propose that specialty store managers, as well as outside sales personnel attached to the store, have selling responsibilities. In addition, we propose that sales personnel, as well as store managers, should have a propensity for leadership, which reflects an individual's enduring disposition to exhibit leadership within the context of his or her organizational roles. In two studies, we develop a new individual difference measure of propensity to lead and investigate its nomological validity within a specialty retail store environment. As predicted, leadership propensity was predictive of self-rated sales performance and a proclivity to identify prospects through cold calls to close sales, to reveal customer orientation, and to exhibit organizational citizenship behavior. We found that propensity to lead did not differ between salespeople and retail store managers, but we found that the respondent's role moderated the relationship between propensity to lead and supervisor performance ratings. Study limitations and managerial implications of this heretofore unidentified trait of salespeople are discussed.
Flaherty, K. E., Mowen, J. C., Brown, T. J., & Marshall, G. (2009). Leadership propensity and sales performance among sales personnel and managers in a speciality retail store setting. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 29(1), 43-59. https://doi.org/10.2753/PSS0885-3134290103