Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation (Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Admin



Committee Chair

Daniel Sherrell

Committee Member

Frances Fabian

Committee Member

Bryan Hochstein


Organizations that employ salespeople as part of their marketing operations spend a great deal of resources recruiting, training, and retaining talented sales professionals. Yet retaining talented salespeople is still a challenge for most firms. Therefore, this study utilizes concepts from the cutting edge turnover literature to gain insight into why salespeople may choose to stay or leave their current employing organization. Recent advances in turnover research have focused on the role of job embeddedness as a driver of turnover. While the concept of job embeddedness has been used extensively, there is reason to believe that it is lacking in scope when being applied to sales, given the boundary spanning nature of the sales profession. Thus, an additional dimension of job embeddedness is proposed: customer embeddedness. When combined with the existing construct of job embeddedness, the resulting construct is called salesperson job embeddedness. Social exchange theory is used as rationale for customer embeddedness. Additionally, an empirical study is conducted to test the predictive validity of salesperson job embeddedness as a driver of turnover intentions in the sales context. Person-job fit, sales performance, and felt stress are tested as moderators of the relationship between salesperson job embeddedness and turnover intentions. The study results suggest that customer embeddedness adds to the variance explained of turnover intentions above that of job embeddedness alone, while controlling for job satisfaction and organizational commitment. No moderating effects of felt stress, sales performance, or person-job fit with salesperson job embeddedness on turnover intentions were found. An alternative post-hoc model was also tested. Felt stress was found to be a negative driver of job satisfaction and organizational commitment, salesperson job embeddedness was found to be a negative driver of sales performance, and person-job fit was a positive driver of both sales performance and job satisfaction. The results suggest that the new customer embeddedness dimension, along with the existing dimensions of job embeddedness is applicable to the sales research profession. There is also evidence to suggest that salesperson job embeddedness has a negative impact on salesperson performance. This has strong implications for both sales turnover research and practice.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.