Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Leader–member Exchange, Sales Performance, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment Affect Turnover Intention

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Leader–member Exchange, Sales Performance, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment Affect Turnover Intention

Article excerpt

Turnover of employees can harm an organization's relational and human capital, and also result in losses of costs and benefits. In particular, turnover of salespersons reduces firm productivity and results in customer defection, because the relationship between salespersons and customers is stronger than that between customers and the company (Bendapudi & Leone, 2002). Therefore, turnover of salespersons degrades the organization's sales performances.

Previous researchers have suggested that some possible leading variables inducing salespersons' turnover intention are work overload (Jones, Chonko, Rangarajan, & Roberts, 2007), work-family conflict, job stress, and emotional exhaustion (Boles, Johnston, & Hair, 1997). On the other hand, suggested variables inhibiting salespersons' turnover intention are an ethical climate (Schwepker, 2001), perceived supervisor support and organizational identification (DeConinck, 2011b; DeConinck & Johnson, 2009), a positive perception of managers' ethical behavior, psychological contract, and organizational commitment (Hartmann & Rutherford, 2015; Pettijohn, Pettijohn, & Taylor, 2008).

Leader-member exchange (LMX) is a measure of the quality of the relationship between leader and subordinate, including understanding, loyalty, trust, and expertise (Darrat, Atinc, & Babin, 2016; Scandura & Graen, 1984). There is a wide body of research in which antecedents of LMX, such as transfor-mational leadership (Wang, Law, Hackett, Wang, & Chen, 2005), follower competence and similarity (Liden, Wayne, & Stilwell, 1993), and affectivity (Hui, Law, & Chen, 1999), have been examined. LMX has significant effects on employees' organizational commitment, trust in, and loyalty to their manager, job embeddedness, and organizational citizenship behavior (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995; Harris, Wheeler, & Kacmar, 2011; Ilies, Nahrgang, & Morgeson, 2007). It can also reduce job insecurity, job stress, and emotional exhaustion, as well as inhibiting employees' turnover intention (Darrat et al., 2016; Probst, Jiang, & Graso, 2016).

In the past, LMX theory has been mainly applied in business fields, including service contexts. However, there has been relatively little research into the relationships among LMX, sales performance, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intention of salespersons. For example, DeConinck (2011b) demonstrated that LMX has a positive relationship with salespeople's organizational commitment and sales performance. However, it remains unclear if sales performance mediates the relationship of LMX with job satisfaction and the organizational commitment of salespersons, which may, in turn, influence turnover intention in a sales organization context (Janssen & Van Yperen, 2004).

Thus, we conducted this study to examine if (a) LMX directly affects the sales performance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment of salespersons; (b) LMX has an indirect relationship via the mediator of sales performance with job satisfaction and organizational commitment, which, in turn, influence the turnover intention of salespersons; and (c) LMX indirectly affects turnover intention of salespersons first through the mediator of sales performance, then through salespersons' job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

Literature Review

Relationships Among Salespersons' Leader-Member Exchange, Sales Performance, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment

LMX is a concept extended from social exchange theory and role theory (Hofmann, Morgeson, & Gerras, 2003); high LMX often leads to high levels of understanding, trust, and loyalty between supervisor and subordinates (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995). In addition, Lindsey Hall, Baker, Andrews, Hunt, and Rapp (2016) found in their empirical study that the higher LMX is, the higher is the job satisfaction of employees. Moreover, when LMX is high in an organization, subordinates are more satisfied with their leader and their job stress and job insecurity are considerably reduced (Probst et al. …

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