Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Gene R. Sullivan


Authentic Leadership, Performance Management Systems, Ethical Selling, Salesperson Motivation


Business | Leadership Studies


This qualitative study of retail telecommunication salespeople and their employers supported the existing literature about authentic leadership’s positive influence on organizational citizenship behavior, affective commitment, ethical climate, and employee motivation in balancing performance management systems. Through salesperson self-regulation, this study also supported goal setting and other task-based motivation theories. The study added to the paucity of research on the relationship of pressure to unethical behavior and found the time dimension of goals was less important than threatening pressure. Both ethical codes and personal values were found to motivate ethical behavior more than either one by itself. Also, the study found the store manager relationship was critical to salesperson motivation and performance which should be studied further, especially when dysfunctional, adding to leader membership exchange (LMX) constructs. Finally, more telecom salespeople were motivated relationally than financially, and their emotional depletion was more related to negative interpersonal interactions than task-based effort as reflected in expectancy-value theory. This requires further study. The study incorporated a philosophical assumption of a Biblical worldview.