Gratitude in buyer-seller relationships: a dyadic investigation
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© 2017 Pi Sigma Epsilon National Educational Foundation. In addressing the call for research to understand affect in sales, this research uses moral affect theory and literature on emotional contagion to examine the effects of salesperson gratitude and customer gratitude on downstream relationship outcomes. The findings of this work suggest that salesperson prosocial behaviors account for the positive association between salesperson gratitude and customer gratitude. These prosocial behaviors–information sharing and extra-role behaviors–combined with customer gratitude serve as explanatory mechanisms for the positive effects of salesperson gratitude on customer commitment, which is an important result of buyer-seller interactions and an essential component of long-term relationships. Further, this research finds that salesperson extra-role behaviors and relationship length interact such that salesperson extra-role behaviors cultivate customer gratitude within developing and established relationships, but that these behaviors are particularly beneficial for less mature relationships. Understanding the role of salesperson gratitude and customer gratitude in driving relational outcomes contributes to both a theoretical understanding of the role of affect in sales and practical applications of emotions within buyer-seller relationships.
author list (cited authors)
Mangus, S. M., Bock, D. E., Jones, E., & Folse, J.