The authors address a fundamental gap in understanding how sales performance and job satisfaction are determined in an investigation of the sales force of a direct-selling organization. Results indicate a direct positive effect of work-related effort on job satisfaction that is not mediated by sales performance. This is inconsistent with commonly accepted theoretical models and suggests that the perspective of work as a “terminal Value” (i.e., an end in itself, rather than strictly a means to an end) has been under-emphasized in models of work behavior. As such, either (1) measures of sales performance should be broadened to encompass the terminal value perspective on the psychological value of work or (2) conceptual models should be revised to reflect that narrowly defined measures of sales performance do not completely mediate the effect of effort on job satisfaction. The authors conclude with a discussion of managerial implications of these findings.

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