Attraction and Retention of Sales Managers

Amanda Kongsgaard Nielsen & Laust Yong Dransfeldt Jacobsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The problem statement of this master thesis is: How does the interviewed sales managers relate to external and internal recruitment, and what can be done to attract and maintain them in their jobs? We examine the benefits and disadvantages that can occur in both internal and external recruitment from our informers’ perspectives, as well as how the motivating factors in their work lives and the psychological contract affects their employment. In order to accomplish this, the thesis includes four investigating questions to ensure that all aspects of the main problem statement are covered in the analysis and discussion parts of the thesis. They are as follows: 1) Which benefits and disadvantages can occur in the internal options of recruitment? 2) Which benefits and disadvantages can occur in the external options of recruitment? 3) What motivates the sales managers in their work? 4) How can the psychological contract affect the sales managers’ employment as well as internal and external recruitment? The two first questions regarding benefits and disadvantages of internal and external recruitment respectively, are compared in the same discussion section, while question three and four are discussed in separate sections. Overall, there are four analysis sections and three discussion sections. The methodological approach is mainly qualitative and consists of eight qualitative semistructured interviews along with a survey that includes some quantitative data. The purpose of the methodological design of this thesis is to examine our informants', 8 sales managers, statements and experiences thoroughly. This is done with a comparison with the survey data in order to heighten the generalizability of the thesis. The results of the empirical study is assessed in relation to the selected theories with the purpose of examining whether or not our informants’ statements were consistent with the theories in order to deepen the analysis and discussion parts of the project. Based on the analysis and discussion, it is concluded that internal promotion and recommendations by an acquaintance are preferred by our informants. And while external recruitment in the form of a headhunter can work as a sparring partner for both the company representatives as well as the candidates for the open position, the disadvantages can be that the headhunter fails to give a correct image of the job in question. In terms of what motivates the sales managers in their work, most were focused on continuous development in their jobs. Therefore, in order to maintain the important employees a company will be well off if they have a plan for each employees’ next career move within the organisation. Our informants have experienced both successful and less successful employments in their careers. In the cases where the psychological contract has been broken it has often been because of either a change in the company’s values, or miscommunication of some form. Based on this, the recommendation is for companies to obtain knowledge of what the many characteristics of the psychological contract can contribute to the employmen

EducationsMSocSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages263
SupervisorsCarina Enggård Jensen