Under pressure: The pros and cons of putting time pressure on your salesforce

Amin Rostami, Colin Gabler, Raj Agnihotri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Time pressure is a fact of life for sales employees. However, its unintended consequences have mostly been ignored. This research leverages dual-process theory to investigate the positive and negative consequences of time pressure for both the firm and the employees themselves. Using data from 216 B2B salespeople across multiple industries, we find that individuals who feel pressure exert more effort and exhibit more creative behaviors in their work. However, these employees are also more likely to make unethical decisions. We also uncover that time management skills moderate the relationship between time pressure and both effort and unethical behavior. This insight adds to the already substantial literature on the importance of time management. Taken together we extend the discussion on time pressure in the sales profession, suggesting how managers can use it to their advantage while mitigating potentially negative effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Creativity
  • Dual-focus
  • Effort
  • Time management
  • Time pressure
  • Unethical behavior


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