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Identification in a Co-operative Community: Internal Marketing to Build Corporate Image and Reputation

International Journal of Applied Marketing (ISSN: 1742-2612) Volume 1 Issue 3

Dr Richard J Varey

Abstract

A theoretical discussion of a structured approach to managing customer and service attitudes amongst service delivery people is developed. The service marketing and service management, quality management, organisation behaviour, and corporate communication literatures are examined.

It is generally argued that service quality perceptions and market- or business-consciousness of customers, delivery staff, and managers can have a profound impact on the business performance of a company in terms of what strategy is designed, knowledge of achievement, and level of satisfaction and feelings about value for money. Internal marketing has been widely adopted as an approach to creating and maintaining a climate of good service. The task for managers in the people-intensive industries is to recruit and keep good people. Knowledge workers individually possess ‘know-how capital’ (Lloyd, 1990) which is their skills, experience and aptitudes and their familiarity with the company’s business idea, its style of operation and its personality. Corporate identification is the cognitive connection that will ensure that some people come, make a commitment to stay and to contribute, whilst others come and go or do not choose to come in the first place. This term is synonymous with the currently popular notions of ‘buy-in’ and ‘winning hearts and minds’. It is no longer enough for an employee to perform tasks or obey orders. Each also needs to “believe” in the corporation and what it stands for and to “feel” for the work s/he is doing. The social and business significances of identification are discussed.

The concept of an internal marketing or internal relationship management system is discussed. This aims to engender corporate identification in terms of corporate image, personality, and reputation as a glue which binds together the knowledge workers into a coherent goal-oriented community with at least some sense of common purpose. Managers must create the context of a climate of good service if commitment to the business purpose is to become the currency of day-to-day work. The paper identifies the internal marketing meta-process as the dynamic communication structure for requisite interaction between sub-groups for coherence and co-operation in a community of stakeholders. A research agenda is suggested.

Keywords: reputation, competitive position, internal marketing, image, identification, co-operative community.

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