The Effects of Open and Dominant Communication Styles on Perceptions of the Sales Interaction

Document Type



Published by the Association for Business Communication in the Journal of Business Communication, volume 27 issue 2, 1990. Bryant users can access this article here.


Association for Business Communication

Publication Source

Journal of Business Communication


The effect of the Open and Dominant communication styles from Norton's (1978) dimensions were tested on judgments and perceptions of sales effectiveness. Eighty students in small groups viewed pretested videotapes of a sales interaction; each tape depicted one of the four combinations of communicator style dimensions (high and low levels of Openness and Dominance). After viewing the tape, subjects completed a 42- item questionnaire from which six composite scores were created. Using a 2 x 2 ANOVA design, four of these composites showed significant effects: (1) Perceptions of the product being sold, (2) the interaction between the salesperson and customer in the tape, (3) Probability of purchase of the product in the tape and (4) Perceptions of the salesperson being depicted in the tape. Respondents, in general, rated the high Dominant/low Open and low Dominant/high Open salesperson more favorably than the high Dominant/high Open or Low Dominant/low Open salesperson. These results are addressed in terms of the sales interaction and as a heuristic for future research.