The relationship between sales force, motivation and corporate performance in agricultural, manufacturing and service industries in Southern Ghana

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An ability to instill strong commitment to strategic success and create an atmosphere where there is constructive pressure to perform is one of the most valuable strategy-implementing skills. When an organization performs consistently at or near peak capacity, the outcome is not only improved strategic success but also an organisational culture permeated with a spirit of high performance. There is a clear indication that success in business or organisation partly depends on how motivated the firm’s employees are. This thesis studied the relationship between sales force motivation and corporate performance. There is a problem of managers coming up with incentives and rewards that are thought to be administered with scrupulous care and fairness. If performance standards are set unrealistically high or if individual performance evaluation is not accurate and well documented, dissatisfaction and disgruntlement with the system will overcome any positive benefits that still emerge. The research is premised on a central theme that motivation, for example appeal to emotional needs, such as ego needs, recognition and peer acceptance are examples of encouragement that enhance or affect corporate performance. 150 people representing sales people from the agricultural manufacturing and service sectors of the economy of Ghana were selected for indepth study and analysis. A combination of purposive and focus group interview were used in data collection. Data was analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The study reveals that sales force performance depends highly on motivational activities being employed by various organisations. Various motivational schemes were seen to have positive effect on sales force performance as indicated by the research. For example management control system, leadership techniques and financial rewards were seen to have direct effect on performance. However, the research also revealed that cash is not always the king when it comes to motivating employees to give out their best, but also the non-financial rewards. On the aggregate the non-financial reward like challenging work assignments was found to be one the most preferred form of motivational mix as indicated by respondents. Corporate image also featured as an important motivational mix preferred by respondents. In terms of financial incentive as motivational scheme, it is the most used bonus system and featured prominently. Based upon the above, it is recommended that reward must specify the behaviour being rewarded must be given in positive tone, be giving sincerely and close to the event. It is also recommended that for sales force rewards and recognition to work over long term, supervisors and managers have to create a recognition culture and also focus on areas that have most impact. The conclusion of the study is that motivation has a positive effect on sales force performance and those managers or organisations will see immediate and positive results when rewards programs are initiated regularly and systematically.
A thesis submitted to the College of Arts and Social Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, 2004