Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. James Boles - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Barry Babin

Third Advisor

Dr. Danny Bellenger

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Naveen Donthu


This dissertation examines the role of different types of salesperson behaviors on building and managing customer equity drivers. It is proposed that customers develop positive attitudes towards different value drivers through developed trust by different salesperson behaviors. Specifically, it is hypothesized that customer trust effects customers’ perceptions of brand value, product value and relationship value; the customer trust in turn is affected by different salesperson behaviors, namely, adaptive selling, customer oriented, selling oriented and un/ethical behaviors. Thus, this dissertation integrates selling behaviors literature with customer equity literature. This dissertation builds on past literature and proposes a conceptual model using nine different constructs representing three broader constructs, Selling behaviors, Customer trust and Customer equity drivers: Adaptive selling behavior, Selling orientation – Customer orientation (SOCO) behaviors and Un/ethical selling behavior, Customer trust with salesperson and selling firm, Value equity, Relationship equity and Brand equity. Descriptive research design is used for investigating the role of customer trust as a mediator in the relationships between selling behaviors and customer equity drivers. The research design uses a dyadic sampling design where data for independent variables, selling behaviors and customer trust, is collected from insurance customers in St.Louis metropolitan area and the data for dependent variables, customer equity drivers, is collected from insurance salespeople. Structural equation modeling is used to analyze the data. The results support the mediational role of trust in the relationship between selling behaviors and customer equity drivers. They also support the hypothesis that different selling behaviors have different effects on customer equity drivers. This research provides significant theoretical and managerial implications. It provides the existing body of literature with a different perspective on customer equity management. Managerially, it provides newer insights to sales managers of the effects of relational selling behaviors. This research also introduces a newer way to investigate selling behaviors by using a second order construct, relational selling behavior.


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Marketing Commons