Many factors can influence service quality, however the main determinant of customers’ perceptions of service quality is often their interaction with service staff (Zeithaml & Bitner, 2009:351), resulting in the importance of employees in service delivery. Internal marketing (IM) acknowledges this, and is similar to other marketing activities within an organisation, which focuses on staff in order to enhance external performance (Papasolomou & Vrontis, 2006:179).
The aim of the present study has been to investigate the elements of IM as predictors of employee satisfaction and to determine the relative importance of various IM attributes and with this in mind the primary and secondary objectives driving this study were:
• to confirm the IM scale as used in the study by Jou et al. (2008:73) in a South African context;
• to determine how well the identified IM elements predict employee satisfaction by:
• determining if any of the identified IM elements are predictors of employee satisfaction;
• assessing the relative contribution to employee satisfaction of each of the IM elements found to be predictors; and
• investigating whether certain biographical factors, such as gender, tenure and level of customer interaction, also explain employee satisfaction
A literature study of IM theory pointed to a number of broad definitions of the concept, identifying IM as either a tool, an internal process or as a process supporting external activities. IM can also be a working mix of elements aimed at motivating employees (Papasolomou & Vrontis, 2006:178) toward inter-departmental co-ordination in order to achieve a more customer-orientated approach to service marketing.
This working mix of elements is known as the IM mix, being elements under the control of management that can be implemented in order to illicit desired responses from employees (Ahmed & Rafiq, 2002: 27). The IM mix elements put forward are varied and numerous, and there is much debate as to which of the elements constitute an IM mix.
Against the background of these disparate IM mix elements, it was necessary to reconfirm those elements pertinent to an IM programme in a South African context. It was found that job quality and reward together with empathy and consideration are significant predictors of IM and should therefore form the cornerstone of any IM programme.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2013.