The effect of new technologies on psychological consequences and risk perceptions of sales agents
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The development of new technologies has had important effects on offline distribution channels and, specially, on the psychological effect and risk perceptions that the existence of the online channel may have on the sales agents. Sales agents are fearful that Internet-based competitors will cannibalize their roles in the organization, and might make them outdated and feel insecure about their jobs. This paper estimates the impact of sales agents’ perceptions of service cannibalization on role ambiguity, risk job uncertainty, employee commitment, and employee productivity, considering development of Internet channel, and multi-channel distribution. Data were collected from 497 sales agents who worked at travel agencies located in Spain. Once the model was specified and identified, its parameters were estimated, and authors used various statistics and indices to evaluate overall adaptation of the model. A structural equation modeling was used to examine the posited relationships. This research reinforces the importance of capturing sales agents’s perceptions, especially concerning job insecurity and other outcomes. Specifically, results suggest sales agents’ perceptions of service cannibalization have an effect on role ambiguity and risk and job uncertainty. This study considers the importance of analyzing perceptions of sales agents by travel agency managers to reduce negative consequences on employees, particularly important in view of multi-channel marketing, when a new marketing channel coexists with a traditional sales force. © 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
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