The IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior
The Moderating Role of Organizational Climate in Competency-Performance Relationship: A Study on Salespersons in Central India

Article Details
Pub. Date : Oct, 2018
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJOB31810
Author Name : Sushil Punwatkar and Manoj Verghese
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 22



The purpose of the paper is to investigate the relationship between competencies of salespersons (in organized retail outlets) and job performance and to test for the moderating role of organizational climate in that relationship. Data was collected using a questionnaire in a survey of consumers, supervisors and salespersons at various retail stores in Bhilai and Raipur, the tier-II cities of Chhattisgarh state in India, designed on the basic items relating to competencies, job performance and organizational climate. Hierarchical regression analysis of data from 245 respondents was used to test two hypotheses. The results show that salespersons' competencies are an antecedent of job performance. The impact of competencies on job performance is stronger and more significant when the organizational climate is favorable. If it is unfavorable, competencies do not project significant effect on job performance. This study extends previous research by examining the moderating role of organizational climate. Further research is indicated to identify the other key moderators and mediators of the competencies in relation to salespersons' job performance. A 24-item competency assessment scale is developed in the study that can be applied in practice to measure salespersons' skill levels on various aspects and provide opportunity to managers to understand the skill gap and the way to fill them efficiently.


The Indian retail industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries due to the entry of several new players. It accounts for over 10% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and around 8% of the employment. India is the world's fifth-largest global destination in the retail space (Retail Industry in India: Overview of Retail Sector, Market Size, Growth...IBEF, 2018). In the retail environment, the salesperson is a strong factor of influence in consumers' decision process because store image and ability to build loyalty can heavily depend on the ability and characteristics of the salesperson (Punwatkar and Verghese, 2014). In a few instances, performance of a salesperson has been observed to have noticeable influence on consumers' buying decisions. Their performance, in turn, is significantly reliant on certain competencies possessed by him/her. Many previous studies suggest that consumers seek attention of the shopkeepers and salespersons and likely to visit those outlets where they have experienced a royal and centered attention from them (Mallalieu, 2006; and Meaghan, 2011). A bunch of effective salespersons can lead an organization to its success or failure (Punwatkar and Verghese, 2014). This brought salespersons to the center of the study who are the key persons around whom the sales and profitability of any business or retail store revolve.


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