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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The impact of customer orientation within sales on a firm’s performance: The moderating role of decision-making logic

Published: May 28, 2019


Saara Julkunen, Univerisity of Eastern Finland; Timo Tammi, University of Eastern Finland; Mika Gabrielsson, University of Eastern Finland; Jonna Koponen, University of Eastern Finland


Decision-making; Customer-orientations; Performance


What is the influence on a firm’s performance of emphasizing customer orientation (CO) within the sales function? Does the decision-making logic make a difference? We suggest that firms can enhance performance by applying either a relational or functional approach to CO in sales. Moreover, it is silent about what type of decision-making logic should be applied when following each of these COs. A moderated mediation analysis resulting from a survey of 278 sales respondents shows support for a positive moderating effect from the chosen decision-making logic on the relationship between functional CO and a firm’s market performance, as well as in the relationship between relational CO and performance. Interestingly, market performance was also reflected in objective financial data on performance in the studied dataset. Current sales research should expand CO and performance dependence research settings by incorporating the moderating effect that decision-making logic may have.