Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Dr. Brian Rutherford

Second Advisor

Dr. Scott Friend

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Plank


The move towards a more knowledge-intensive sales market has increased the complexity of the sales job. Salespeople must continuously learn and grow to meet the evolving demands of the job. A critical concern for organizational leaders becomes identifying learning strategies to encourage salespeople to apply what they learn. Researchers have advanced multiple studies on the learning needs of salespeople, yet there is not a consensus as to the most effective mechanisms to increase learning transfer in the sales environment. To determine which knowledge tools better prepare the sales force for success, this study investigates whether training, mentoring and/or coaching is more effective in increasing sales learning transfer. A framework which incorporates multiple established transfer and training evaluation models is considered. Empirical testing on a sample of frontline salespeople across varying industries was performed, with statistical analysis of the results. Decreased role ambiguity and increased organizational commitment was interpreted as evidence of transfer. The findings of the study will bolster knowledge of the factors that increase personal learning and promote learning transfer which can ultimately improve the salesperson’s performance.