Entrepreneurial Initiative Selling within Organizations: Towards a More Comprehensive Motivational Framework


Journal of Management Studies

September 2011, vol. 48, n°6, pp.1269-1290

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy

We develop and test a motivational framework to explain the intensity with which individuals sell entrepreneurial initiatives within their organizations. Initiative selling efforts may be driven by several factors that hitherto have not been given full consideration: initiative characteristics, individuals' anticipation of rewards, and their level of dissatisfaction. On the basis of a survey in a mail service firm of 192 managers who proposed an entrepreneurial initiative, we find that individuals' reported intensity of their selling efforts with respect to that initiative is greater when they (1) believe that the organizational benefits of the initiative are high, (2) perceive that the initiative is consistent with current organizational practices (although this effect is weak), (3) believe that their immediate organizational environment provides extrinsic rewards for initiatives, and (4) are satisfied with the current organizational situation. These findings extend previous expectancy theory-based explanations of initiative selling (by considering the roles of initiative characteristics and that of initiative valence for the proponent) and show the role of satisfaction as an important motivational driver for initiative selling.