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Differences in Turnover Predictors between Multilevel and Single Level Direct Selling Organizations

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Turnover among its salespeople is a significant issue for direct selling firms because attrition impacts the size and continuity of revenue generation by a firm's sales force. While turnover rates in direct selling are high overall, turnover rates and intentions to quit differ significantly between multilevel (ML) and single level (SL) forms of direct selling organizations. This study examines whether specific demographic and behavioural/attitudinal characteristics of direct salespeople correspond to differences in turnover between ML and SL salespeople. For many demographic variables there are significant differences between ML and SL salespeople, but none of these differences correspond to differences in quitting intentions. There are also significant differences between ML and SL salespeople on the behavioural and attitudinal variables studied. Analysis revealed that the relationship between some of these variables and quitting intentions differed substantially between ML and SL salespeople. These variables included job satisfaction, organizational commitment, perceived image of direct selling in the marketplace, and the importance of the job characteristics of work rewards and career growth. Specific managerial implications follow from these findings.
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Keywords: Direct selling; multilevel; organization; quitting; single level; turnover

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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