Can Social Learning Improve Sales Results?

That is what I intend to find out. As some of you know, I am working on my dissertation in pursuit of my PhD in Education.

The purpose of my study is to test a social theory of learning (Wenger, 1998) through the use of a community of practice of new sales people in an organization to further understand the relationship between participation in the community of practice and sales results, and to explore how new sales people, participating in a community of practice, supported by an enterprise social network (ESN), can learn the skills necessary to achieve sales goals. The study intends to put to the test that learning is an informal and social process of meaning building, practice, participation in a community, and identity seeking (Wenger 1998). The results of the study could help organizations apply the HPT model, a formal and systematic process of linking business goals with the workforce (Van Tiem, Moseley & Dessinger, 2000), to design, implement, and evaluate a community of practice on an enterprise social network (the intervention) in order to improve performance, as defined by sales results.

The study also seeks to solve the problem of how to allocate training and performance improvement resources to maximize how people learn and to maximize sales results. The study intends to therefore help organizations make sense out of how a theory of social learning can be implemented with newcomer sales people (or any sales people, for that matter) to improve sales results.


Van Tiem, D., Moseley, J., & Dessinger, J. (2012). Fundamentals of Performance Improvement: Optimizing  Results Through People, Process, and Organizations. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Wenger, E. (1998).  Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.