Stereotyping, affiliation, and self-stereotyping of underrepresented groups in the sales force

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study adds theoretical and managerial insights to the sales literature regarding the unfortunate but prevalent issue of stereotyping in sales by supervisors toward underrepresented groups of sales employees. Specifically, we examine (1) the self-evaluative, social, and emotional consequences of being stereotyped by a supervisor, and (2) the moderating role of employees’ self-construal (i.e., the employee’s level of independence versus interdependence) as it relates to their responses toward a supervisor who holds stereotypical expectations. The results suggest that when a sales supervisor endorses stereotypical views, more interdependent (versus independent) sales employees will likely affiliate more with, and experience fewer negative emotions toward, the supervisor. The results also suggest that sales employees’ self-construal moderates the impact of intentions to affiliate with the supervisor on positive stereotypical traits (that are valued in the sales context) but not negative stereotypical traits. While not every sales employee comes from an underrepresented background, every company is interested in the success of their underrepresented sales employees. And, simply being interested in hiring underrepresented employees is not enough. Rather, firms need to understand how to effectively manage diversity and facilitate strong sales supervisor employee relationships. This research provides such understanding. © 2013 PSE National Educational Foundation. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yang, LW; Hansen, JM; Chartrand, TL; Fitzsimons, GJ

Published Date

  • January 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 105 - 116

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1557-7813

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0885-3134

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2753/PSS0885-3134330109

Citation Source

  • Scopus