Business, College of


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Johnson, Jeff S. (2013). The Implementation of New Marketing Strategies by the Salesperson: The Constraining Factor Model. Ph.D. Diss., Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Interdepartmental Area of Business (Marketing), Under the Supervision of Professor Ravipreet S. Sohi. Lincoln, Nebraska: March, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Jeffrey S. Johnson


The implementation of marketing strategies has long been espoused as a key concern of academics and practitioners due to its importance to firm performance. Despite this fact, strategic implementation remains a perennial challenge for firms. This may be in part due to the focus placed on strategic formation rather than strategic implementation. Additionally, as the preponderance of empirical explorations into the implementation phenomenon have been conducted at the firm level, significant opportunity remains to understand implementation on an individual level. Of the organization roles germane to strategic implementation, that of the salesperson is arguably one of the most important. The salesperson’s role as an organizational boundary-spanner places them at the front line of implementation with the customer.

The goal of this dissertation is to advance understanding on this important topic by examining the factors impacting the implementation of marketing strategies by the salesperson. In this pursuit, I draw from motivation, opportunity, and ability (MOA) theory to investigate the drivers of the implementation of new marketing strategies by the salesperson. I empirically test hypothesized relationships by conducting a large-scale survey of business-to-business salespeople. My analysis utilizes a constraining factor model, a new-to-marketing approach derived from operations management. I also examine multiple theoretically-supported drivers of the salesperson’s motivation, opportunity, and ability and resolve unanswered questions in the literature. Finally, I test the contingent impact of salesperson implementation.

The findings provide substantive insight regarding what impacts the business-to-business salesperson’s motivation, opportunity, and ability to implement new marketing strategies with support for many of the hypothesized relationships. The constraining factor hypotheses receive mixed support from the data; however, a post hoc analysis examining the MOA interrelationships in a different manner uncovers divergent findings of interest to theory and practice. Finally, the contingent effects hypotheses on implementation success are not supported suggesting the role of environmental conditions on salesperson implementation is less impactful than previously thought.

Advisor: Ravipreet S. Sohi

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