The ties that buy: The role of interfirm social contagion across customer accounts

Wm Matthew Bowler, Robert Dahlstrom, Matthew T. Seevers, Steven J. Skinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-20
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personal Selling and Sales Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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