The purpose of this study was to investigate how salespeople's renqing orientation and self-esteem jointly affect their selling behavior.Design/Methodology/Approach
Data were obtained from a survey of salespeople from 17 pharmaceutical and consumer-goods companies in Taiwan (n = 216).Findings
Salespeople's renqing orientation (i.e., their propensity to adhere to the accepted norm of reciprocity) compensates the negative effect of self-esteem on their selling behaviors, such as adaptive selling and hard work.Implications
Our study results underscore the critical role of the character trait of renqing orientation in a culture emphasizing a norm of reciprocity. Therefore, it would be useful to consider a strategy of recruiting salespeople with either a high self-esteem or a combination of high renqing orientation and low self-esteem.Originality/Value
The existing literature of industrial/organizational psychology and marketing primarily relies on constructs that are derived from Western cultural contexts. However, the present paper extended these literatures by investigating the possible joint effects of self-esteem with a trait originated from the Chinese culture on salespeople's selling behaviors.