Social Representation and Assessment of Salespeople Personality for Job Performance: An Overview and an Italian Piece of Research

Riccardo Sartori, Arianna Costantini, Andrea Ceschi, Francesco Tommasi


The paper deals with the relationship between the Big Five personality traits (Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Openness and Neuroticism/Emotional Stability) and sales performance in the perspective of the social representation of salespeople personality. The first part of the article provides an overview of the topic, while the second half reports the results of a study carried out with 220 Italian salespeople (16 females) and correlating their answers to a personality test named FLORA – an Italian measure of 24 work-related personality characteristics developed and validated for the assessment of specific professional profiles in organizations and based on the Big Five Model – with their sales figures. According to hypotheses, Conscientiousness, Extraversion and Openness are positively related and Agreeableness is negatively related to sales performance, which is also consistent with the social representation of salespeople personality. Emotional Stability does not prove to be a Big Five directly related to sales performance, but the three facets of Emotional Stability measured by FLORA (Stress tolerance, Frustration tolerance and Self-control) are positively and significantly related to the length of service, while the length of service, in turn, is related to job performance. This supports an indirect relation between Emotional Stability and sales performance passing through the length of service.


social representation of salespeople; Big Five personality traits; job performance

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