Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Marketing

Committee Director

Earl D. Honeycutt

Committee Member

Kiran Karande

Committee Member

R. Bruce McAfee


This dissertation expands the domestic sales training research into international settings by examining and comparing sales training practices of domestic and multinational companies (MNCs) in Malaysia. Fourteen hypotheses were proposed and examined: (1) the two groups' comparative sales training practices; (2) the two groups' sales managers' perceptions toward important sales training tasks; (3) the relationships of the different perceptions toward important sales training tasks to sales 9 managers' performance measures; and (4) the effect of two groups' demographic variables on perceived adequacy of the overall sales training programs.

Cross-sectional data were collected via self-administered questionnaires distributed to sales managers, marketing managers, and sales supervisors in the state of Selangor and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The sampling lists of this study were generated from the Directory of Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce (1999) and Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange Location of Share Register (1999). Instruments were borrowed from Honeycutt, Ford, Lupton, and Flaherty (1999), Futrell, Berry, and Bowers (1984), and Behrman and Perrault (1982) to test the proposed hypotheses in the study.

The response rates obtained from both MNC and domestic group were 52% and 53%, respectively. The assessment of the non-response bias showed no significant difference between data generated from early and late response groups. Reliability of the scales was assessed by calculating internal consistency using Cronbach's Alpha. Both confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses were employed to measure scale validity. The proposed hypotheses were analyzed and tested using Chi-square statistics, MANOVA, Ordinary Least Square Regressions (OLS), and One-Way ANOVA techniques.

Seven of the 14 proposed hypotheses received full empirical support. The results of the two groups' sales training practices revealed that MNC group differed significantly from their domestic counterparts in sales training needs determination, objective setting, and program content. The analysis of the two groups' perceptions towards important sales training tasks also revealed that MNC sales managers perceived greater firm commitment in providing adequate sales training budget than domestic sales managers. Domestic sales managers also perceived greater firm commitment in providing adequate supports for such important sales training tasks as planning, evaluating, and directing than their MNC counterparts. Unlike the domestic sales managers, MNC sales managers experienced a significantly stronger positive relationship between perceived adequacy of planning and evaluation of sales training programs and the improvement of their performance (i.e., presentation and communication skills).

The analysis of the two groups demographic variables confirmed that Malaysian firms receiving high sales training budget provision and upper management support, perceived higher adequacy in the overall sales training programs than those receiving low sales training budget provision and upper management support. This analysis also revealed that Malaysian firms who were members of the Consumer Goods industry, perceived higher adequacy in the overall sales training programs than those belonging to the Industrial Goods industry. Both limitations and practical implications of the study are also discussed. Finally, recommendations for future research are suggested.