Despite its growing prevalence in the realm of sales occupations, multi-level marketing (MLM) and its primary participants are not very well understood. In particular, there is a dearth of understanding in terms of the differentiating characteristics of individual sellers who are financially successful in comparison to those who perform poorly. This study sought to fill in some of these research gaps by exploring the antecedents of sales success by examining the validity of personality as a predictor of sales performance in the context of MLM. While significant relationships were indeed observed between certain facets of personality (specifically components of conscientiousness, extraversion, and resilience) and sales performance, they were weaker than those found in existing literature. In some cases (e.g., excitement seeking) the relationships were in the opposite direction of those found in samples of conventional sales reps. Overall, due to the low amount of variance explained by personality, on a practical level it may not be the best predictor of performance in this context.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Miller, C. R. (2015). Depth of a Salesman: Exploring Personality as a Predictor of Sales Performance in a Multi-Level Marketing Sample [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/502/
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