In the sales literature, several researchers have identified that supervisory roles and behaviors play a vital role in fostering salesperson-supervisor relationships and, ultimately, salesperson performance. However, this body of research has extensively focused on such relationships in face-to-face or collocated contexts. But, in recent times, selling organizations are rapidly adapting to newer market structures, work practices, and technological advances by utilizing distal salespersons. Distal salespersons (a) are physically, socially, and psychologically separated from their workplace, (b) rely extensively on electronic media for communication with co-workers and supervisors, (c) have less access to peer support, (d) have fewer informal interactions with co-workers and supervisors, and (e) generally, receive scripted, rather than face-to-face, feedback from supervisors (Mulki et al. 2008).
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- Distal Salesperson-Supervisor Relationships: A Conceptual Integration of Self-Determination, Leadership, and Communication Theories