The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

"I am quite a genuine person": sales training and the limits of moulding instrumentality

Record type: Monograph (Working Paper)

Sales work is a key feature of the contemporary service economy which has prompted considerable academic debate. This has centred on the processes of standardization exemplified by sales routines and scripts. It is frequently suggested that these management devices are unproblematically embraced by workers who share a mutual interest with management in controlling customer behaviour and masking the contradictions of simultaneously displaying empathy while ‘closing the deal’. In these accounts, sales workers are denied agency. This paper questions this assumption by presenting empirical evidence from a case
study of sales advisors in a large chain of private fitness clubs whose job is to sell annual memberships. The research involved eight interviews with trainers and managers at head office. We were also able to tape record and participate in a five day training course that all newly appointed sales advisors have to attend. We carried out interviews with all eight trainees a couple of months after the end of the course. This allowed us to follow the path of newly appointed sales advisors by hearing, seeing and experiencing the training they receive, and then
gathering data on the extent to which the training is followed on the ground. The data show that although the training course placed strong emphasis on routines designed to control customers and maximize the commission received by sales advisors, once back on ‘home’ territory advisors often chose to approach customers with less instrumentality. This contrast is explained by reference to the advisors’ past dispositions and experiences, and to the specific local conditions in which sales take place.

PDF I_am_quite_a_genuine_person[1].pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Registered users only
Download (1MB)

Citation

Kakavelakis, Konstantinos, Felstead, Alan, Fuller, Alison, Jewson, Nick and Unwin, Lorna (2007) "I am quite a genuine person": sales training and the limits of moulding instrumentality , Cardiff, Wales Cardiff School of Social Sciences 24pp. (Learning as Work Research Paper, 11).

More information

Published date: August 2007

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 63797
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/63797
PURE UUID: 803993b3-27a6-4ee1-a80b-15e34d0f9f75

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Nov 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:15

Export record

Contributors

Author: Konstantinos Kakavelakis
Author: Alan Felstead
Author: Alison Fuller
Author: Nick Jewson
Author: Lorna Unwin

University divisions


Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×