Internal market orientation : construct, measurement and consequences
This thesis contributes to the paucity of marketing research into the area of internal marketing. Drawing from knowledge developed in a diverse range of marketing and management literatures, the domaill of internal marketing is clarified Gild a new concept, internal market orientation is developed. A new instrument, measuring the internal market orientation, is developed and subjected to standard scale development procedures. Six dimensions of the construct are confirmed; collegial interaction, group interaction, jorlllal interaction, external envirollment, wage flexibility and job flexibility. A sample of 766 UK retail store managers are surveyed to identify levels of internal market orientation and external market orientation in large UK multi-product, multi-site retailers and the structural relationships between internal market orientation, extemal market orientation alld company performance are examined. The external market orientation construct is applied to the local retail market and established measurement instruments adapted to this pwpose. Three measures of performance are employed ill this study. The structural relationships between the six dimensions of internal market orientation and the three dimensions of external market orientation are examined employing structural equations methodology, using LISREL 8.3. alld the impact of internal market orientation Oil external market orientation and company performance is measured. The study finds no direct link between internal market orientation and financial performance but does identify the moderated role of internal market orientation on financial performance. Significant relationships between three of the six dimensions of internal market orientation and the three dimensions of external market orientation are identified and the impact of internal market orientation on the retention of employees and their behaviour is also identified. The research findings contribute to marketing theory by providing empirical evidence to support the long held assumption that internal marketing has an impact on marketing success and offers an explanation of the mechanism by which this influence operates. For marketing practitioners, the research findings offer additional information on which services marketing strategies may be formulated.