This study investigates how purchase decisions may be influenced by ties linking customer account personnel and sales personnel. Two distinct forms of social contagion-cohesion and structural equivalence-are posited as mechanisms for triggering purchase similarity among customer accounts. We empirically test our hypotheses using field-collected sociometric data that captures social ties among customer accounts and sales personnel within a retail sales territory. The results support structural equivalence rather than cohesion as a key driver of brand choice similarity among retail firms. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications for sales management practice and research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Management of Technology and Innovation