Self-efficacy and Individual Performance - Lessons from Marketing Research

AuthorMadalina Balau
Performance and Risks in the European Economy
Self-efficacy and Individual Performance Lessons from Marketing
Mădălina Bălău1
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to highlight several important marketing research findings around the
concept of self-efficacy and draw from them lessons for the individuals and managers that could enhance their
task performance as well as that of the peop le they are managing or working with. Prior research shows that
changing certain behaviors or enabling a desired performance constitutes important interdisciplinary issues
with practical impact at economic, social and individual level. Many of the models used to understand and
predict consumer behavior propose that intention alone poorly predicts performance of a behavior and is needed
a certain amount of control, abilities or skills. The concept of self-efficacy is particularly interesting in
understanding human performance (or the lack of it) due to its context specificity, its importance on actual
performance and its flexibility, as individuals can easily i mprove on it. The current results picture sometimes
self-efficacy as a mediating variable for performance, some other times as a moderating factor in tackling
constraints on behavior. The implications of the research on self-efficacy are relevant for managers as well as
for the individuals themselves. The value of these findings is that, in spite of some diverging perspectives in
behavior modelling, the marketing research studies highlight important ways in which individuals could use
the concept of self-efficacy in improving their performance, through awareness.
Keywords: self-efficacy, consumer behavior, individual task performance, self-efficacy improvement.
JEL Classification: D83; M31
1 Introduction
Individuals are constantly involved in changing their behavior, whether we speak of behaviors directly
linked to economic activity (like buying and using products and services) or other types of behavior that
may have an economic dimension (like giving money for charity, recycling, or having more initiative in
the workplace, etc.). Consumer behavior literature provides several models that account for the main
factors that determine enactment, most frequently tested models taking an internal perspective and
focusing on the psychological factors of the individual. One of the internal factors that received much
attention is motivation, frequently equated as intention, and having as its main antecedents attitudes and
internalized social norms. However, another important factor for individual behavior was recognized in
possessing the abilities, skills and control to perform that action and this paper will focus on this
important factor and the findings provided by marketing research.
1Senior Lecturer, PhD, DiSEDD Research Center, Danub ius University of Galati, Romania, Address: 3 Galati Blvd. , Galati
800654, Romania, Tel.: +40372361102, Corresponding author:

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