Sticking together under pressure: The risk-sharing approach and trust-building in sales management

M. Besson, H. LONING, C. Mendoza

European Management Journal

February 2008, vol. 26, n°1, pp.11-23

Departments: Accounting & Management Control

Companies that rely on Management By Objectives systems typically encounter two types of difficulty: objectives may be too difficult to attain, especially when there is top-down pressure; and reference to objectives defined at the start of the year may be a questionable basis for year-end performance evaluation when managers' results have been affected by unforeseen events. Our purpose is to examine how MBO is used when managers simultaneously face high pressure to achieve objectives and high environmental uncertainty. Based on a study of fourteen sales executives, this article identifies two types of organizational adjustments brought into play by executives to cope with this type of situation: a more collective management approach to ensure achievement of overall corporate objectives, and development of close interpersonal relationships that build mutual trust between sales executives and their staff. *SALES management*SALES forecasting*INDUSTRIAL management*MUTUAL funds