Strategic Compliance: A study of Professionals’ Responses to Sales Management Control
This study responds to the call for research on how different and often conflicting discourses co-exist in professionals’ everyday work experiences. The paper explores how professionals respond to sales management in the context of two professional service firms (PSFs). Based on a qualitative study of employees’ experiences of sales, our findings suggest that the professionals respond to sales management by engaging in strategic compliance, i.e., adhering to rules and expectations to achieve goals of professional advancement (financial, status, autonomy), which, in turn, reinforces their membership of the profession. We identified three modes of strategic compliance: career-, integration-, and survival-mode. This conceptual framework contributes with a deepened understanding of the complex relationship between professional work and sales management. Specifically, our study suggests that while strategic compliance may help professionals navigate the tensions between professional- and sales-ideals, it is also associated with struggle and normalizes sales as a part of professional work.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Nina Singh, Jens Rennstam
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