The negative effects of travel friction among road warrior salespeople


Marketing and Professional Sales

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Dubbed as road warriors in the popular press, there is a select group of business traveling dealmakers that take at least four trips by commercial airline and stay in hotels at least thirty-five nights in a given year. These high value employees have often been subjected to cost-focused travel policies potentially to the detriment of their well-being. From a theoretical viewpoint, the boundaries of the existing sales literature are expanded to show how this unique group of salespeople, road warriors, face stressors and how these relate to major sales focused outcomes (job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intentions). Further, this study adds an additional construct, travel friction, into the literature, yielding support for the importance of developing our understanding of this construct. Travel friction is found as a significant antecedent to both work-family conflict and emotional exhaustion. Moreover, through emotional exhaustion both travel friction and work-family conflict ultimately manifest in reduced job satisfaction, diminished organizational commitment, and increased attrition risk. The lack of business travel in the short-term due to the global pandemic offers corporate travel managers a unique opportunity to pause and recalibrate their travel policies to focus more on traveler well-being. Practical suggestions from travel experts that can potentially help to mitigate travel friction among road warriors are offered.

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Journal of Air Transport Management

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