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Abstract

Narcissistic salespersons can have detrimental effects on customer relationships and voluntary turnover. These impediments to organizational effectiveness occur through their relationships with customers, coworkers, supervisors, and the organization. Conversely, narcissistic salespersons also possess some attractive salesperson characteristics such as charm, resilience, confidence, competitiveness, and initial likeability. In this paper, I draw from the psychology, marketing, sales, and organizational literatures to develop a conceptual framework which illustrates the relationships of narcissistic salespersons with customers and critical job-related attitudes that affect their relationship with the organization. Specifically, this framework contains empirically testable proposed relationships between narcissism and the following specific outcomes of interest to selling organizations: a salesperson’s customer orientation, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. Thus, narcissism in salespersons could affect long-term customer relationships and turnover in the sales force. Specifically, I propose the relationships of narcissism with the selling and customer orientation dimensions of a salesperson’s customer orientation, and narcissism’s proposed relationship with the coworker, supervisor, work, pay, and promotion satisfaction dimensions of job satisfaction, as well as with organizational commitment. Implications for organizational stability and productivity are addressed, and managerial recommendations are made.

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