Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Andrew Artis, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Robert Hammond, D.B.A.

Committee Member

Douglas Hughes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tony Kong, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tina Yang, Ph.D.


Hybrid Sales Control System, Sales Leader, Sales Process, Salesperson


This study introduces the theory of Legitimacy-based Reciprocity to answer the research question identifying the barriers and enablers of implementing a hybrid sales control system. Legitimacy in terms of this research is proposed as:

  • A power structure based on consent existing in an organization and that there were those who ultimately selected policy and those that had to agree to follow it.
  • Subordinates had to be permitted to help craft the policy and saw value in its existence and enforcement through proof that it directly affected their sales results.
  • Those in power were required to actively participate in the policy measurement with the subordinate to validate its existence and demonstrate commitment to it.

Reciprocity is proposed as:

  • Common respect between sales leaders and sales leaders demonstrated and reinforced through the continual mutual participation and execution of policies.

Together these concepts are utilized to explain to practitioners the required strategies, tools, and behaviors necessary for successful implementation of a hybrid sales control system.

Data analysis began with interviews of sales leaders and salespeople and were conducted within a grounded theory methodology and coded. The analysis of the transcripts resulted in six axial code categories:

  • Alignment on Process
  • Selection of the Process
  • Proof the Process Works
  • Only Capture What is Useful
  • Formal Defined Process
  • Reinforcement of the Process

These codes, along with the researcher’s memos, were further analyzed to develop a central/core theme or selective code of “alignment” between the salespeople and the sales leaders. Three constructs based on the axial and selective codes were then created for development of a theoretical model and ultimately a theory useful for both research and practice. These constructs are defined as:

  • Mutual Agreement of Process Structure Based on Value
  • Consistent Engagement and Collaboration
  • Formal Expectations Defined and Made Clear

This study produced the theory of Legitimacy-based Reciprocity to explain whether an implementation of a hybrid sales control system will succeed or fail. Based on the theory, all three constructs are required to enable a successful implementation and a lack of any of these constructs would introduce a situation where barriers to a successful implementation would be highly likely.

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Marketing Commons