Document Type



sales; grit; entrepreneurship; millennials; Generation Z; industrial marketing; business marketing

Identifier Data


Taylor & Francis Online

Publication Source

Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing


Purpose: The current study explores the latest generation of the workforce, Generation Z/Millennial cusp, and the loyalty concerns hiring managers’ experience. The authors explore how the characteristics of entrepreneurship and grit can potentially impact employee loyalty to an organization.

Methodology/approach: A content analysis using responses from 51 hiring managers and their views of the advantages and challenges of hiring from the millennial generation yielded patterns focused on grit, loyalty, and entrepreneurship.

Findings: Based on the feedback from hiring managers using a grounded theory approach, we propose a conceptual model that includes three constructs that emerged from the analysis: individual entrepreneurship orientation, grit, and loyalty. The results from the content analysis suggest grit moderates the relationship between entrepreneurship and loyalty. The conceptual model proposes sales managers can hire individuals with grit to decreased employee turnover.

Originality/value contribution: This study provides several contributions to the stream of research focused on Generation Z and employee loyalty. First, due to the changing demographic of the workforce, sales managers need to hire and retain younger sales professional that have different expectations; therefore, thinking differently of their hiring process. Second, the study creates an exploratory discussion that can help sales managers evaluate future talent for their organization. Sales managers may evaluate an applicant’s “grittiness” vs. those who are more entrepreneurial in spirit in order to retain those sales professionals long term.

Included in

Marketing Commons