From cognition to action: the effect of thought self-leadership strategies and self-monitoring on adaptive selling behavior

Hayam Alnakhli, Rakesh Singh, Raj Agnihotri, Omar S. Itani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to investigate salespersons’ self-monitoring and its effect on adaptive selling behavior. As salespeople are constantly facing different customers with various needs and want and engaging in a different sales situation, salespeople must deploy their inner capabilities in practicing adaptive selling behavior during and across sales interactions. This study also investigates the impact of salesperson’s intrapersonal leadership – where leadership stems from the individuals with the purpose to influence oneself. Design/methodology/approach: Authors draw on the social cognitive theory of self-regulation to develop our model and examine the relationship between self-monitoring, thought self-leadership and adaptive selling behavior. We empirically test the model using data from 335 pharmaceutical salespeople working across several countries in Asia. Findings: The results support the role of self-monitoring and thought self-leadership as antecedents to adaptive selling. Further, the results suggest that self-monitoring positively moderates the relationship between thought self-leadership and adaptive selling behavior. In light of these results, we explore implications and limitations and conclude by suggesting directions for further research. Research limitations/implications: The sampling method used was convenience sampling, which may limit the theoretical generalization of our results across all emerging markets. Moreover, this study examines the direct impact of self-management mechanism on adaptive selling behavior and the way it interacts with salesperson's thought self-leadership to strengthen adaptive selling behavior. However, the research model does not include organization-level drivers. Originality/value: This study makes an important and original contribution to sales literature by demonstrating the direct and interaction effects of self-monitoring mechanism on a critical component of a business to business sales process, adaptive selling behavior. Results from this study highlight the critical importance of cognitive processes that drives positive selling behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1915-1927
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2020


  • Adaptive selling behavior
  • Salespeople
  • Self-monitoring
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Thought self-leadership


Dive into the research topics of 'From cognition to action: the effect of thought self-leadership strategies and self-monitoring on adaptive selling behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this