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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The (potential) dark side to self-efficacy: Does it always enhance performance?

Published: May 28, 2019


dayle childs, loughborough; Nick Lee, The University of Warwick; John Cadogan, Loughborough University; Belinda Dewsnap, Loughborough University


Self-efficacy; Sales performance; within-person


Sales self-efficacy has been found to be positively related to sales performance. However, recent findings from extant literature identify certain boundary conditions, which indicate that self-efficacy may produce null or negative effects on performance. This paper argues the need for researchers to undertake within-person analysis in future self-efficacy research, critically highlighting how boundary conditions of the self-efficacy/performance relationship can change dependent on whether the researcher is looking at the between-person or within-person level of analysis. Well-accepted logics from sales self-efficacy research may not necessarily generalise from the between-persons level to the within-person level, highlighting a need for the relationship between self-efficacy and performance to be further examined. Ultimately, when processes are not stable, sales theories deliver a one-dimensional perspective to multi-dimensional theory, resulting in an incomplete understanding of the world around us.