Back in May 1996, I was a (relatively) young assistant professor who had joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee almost three years earlier, following my graduate school years in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. My field was, and is, marketing. I had worked for several years in sales with IBM before going back to school to get my Ph.D., and I was doing research and teaching in various areas of sales force management. That day in May 1996, we had just finished the spring semester, and I was looking forward to a summer of writing and revising articles, playing a little golf, and hanging out with my young sons. I remember so clearly sitting in my office, minding my own business, when the most prominent of our senior faculty stopped ...

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