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Examining impacts of technostress on the professional salesperson's performance

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Abstract

This paper explores technostress in the context of the professional sales area. This area is unique in that sales professionalsprefer to spend time with customers in developing interpersonal relationships, rather than on technology related tasks. At thesame time, the modern sales environment requires the use of IS such as sales force automation applications. The sales rolealso offers increased possibility of role stress and very high expectations for technology-enabled performance, making this anideal context to explore how technostress operates through role stress in negatively impacting technology-enabledperformance. It also means that finding ways to mitigate this negative impact is of strategic importance, and a review of thesales technology literature points to self-efficacy as a potential factor to reduce the effects of technostress. Integratingliterature from technostress, sales and social cognitive theory, we explore the relationships between technostress, role stress,technology self-efficacy and technology-enabled performance among business-to-business salespeople. Our findings show apositive association between technostress and role stress, and a negative one between role stress and performance. We findthat technology self-efficacy can counter the decrease in performance and increase in role stress due to technostress.Theoretical and managerial implications of these findings are discussed.