Putting knowledge to work: the combined role of marketing and sales employees’ knowledge and motivation to produce superior customer experiences
Peñalba-Aguirrezabalaga, Carmela; Sáenz, Josune; Ritala, Paavo; Vanhala, Mika (2021-05-18)
Post-print / Final draft
Journal of Knowledge Management
School of Business and Management
This paper aims to adopt a contextual approach to the knowledge-performance linkage by deepening into the role of marketing and sales employees’ knowledge resources in the generation and delivery of superior customer experiences (CEs) and into the motivational antecedents of knowledge acquisition and development.
To gather information about the variables studied in this research, a survey was conducted among Spanish firms with at least 100 employees, resulting in a representative sample of 346 companies. Structural equation modeling based on partial least squares was then applied to test the hypothesized relationships.
The results show that employees’ motivation (and especially intrinsic motivation) affects CE both directly and indirectly through its influence on marketing-specific human capital. More precisely, customer knowledge and different types of marketing-related skills (creativity, targeting, problem-solving, social media management and communication skills) are the only constituents of marketing-specific human capital that significantly affect relative CE performance (i.e. performance vis-à-vis competitors), while product/service and market knowledge do not play a relevant role.
The results contribute both to the knowledge management and intellectual capital literatures by highlighting the motivational levers of human capital in the context of the marketing and sales function and the specific types of employee knowledge resources that induce superior CEs. Consequently, marketing and sales managers are provided with useful guidance to shape their human resource management policies and to establish their knowledge priorities.
Peñalba-Aguirrezabalaga, C., Sáenz, J., Ritala, P. and Vanhala, M. (2021), "Putting knowledge to work: the combined role of marketing and sales employees’ knowledge and motivation to produce superior customer experiences", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-09-2020-0727
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