Sales agents vs the internet: Understanding service sabotage based on the conservation of resources theory
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze perceptions of service cannibalization from sales agents when faced with increased online sales, and their consequences on the employee. The authors assess the effect of service cannibalization perceptions on insecurity, satisfaction, alienation, sales agents’ effort. The study also examines relationships between effects on sales agents’ service sabotage during service delivery. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from 497 travel agency sales agents, and structural equation modeling was used to examine hypothesized relationships. Findings: The results suggest that sales agents’ perceptions of service cannibalization influence employees, and have repercussions regarding service sabotage. Research limitations/implications: Mediators were not tested, and the model does not capture the phenomenon’s complexity. This study reinforces the importance of capturing sales agents’ perceptions from travel agency managers in reducing negative consequences on employees, which is particularly important given multichannel marketing when online marketing channels coexist with traditional sales forces. Practical implications: This study offers insights to firms regarding perceived cannibalization and its consequences on sales agents’ motivation. Organizations should find ways to minimize insecurity, dissatisfaction, and alienation. Originality/value: This study examines psychological influences of the addition of an internet channel on sales agents’ job-related outcomes, and its relationship with sales agents’ service sabotage during service delivery. © 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.
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