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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1999

Chu‐Hua Kuei

There is a great need for empirical research to evaluate internal organizations’ (e.g. information system department, accounting department, and purchasing department…

Abstract

There is a great need for empirical research to evaluate internal organizations’ (e.g. information system department, accounting department, and purchasing department) service quality. In this study, a model to describe the interactions between internal organizations and the processes they serve is proposed. An empirical study is conducted based on the proposed model. It is observed that perceived quality‐oriented climate is one of the most important factors for determining the internal organization’s service quality. Problem resolution capability, keeping customers’ best interests in mind, and instilling customers’ confidence are also identified as among the determining variables for internal service quality.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 16 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Ziying Mo, Matthew Tingchi Liu and IpKin Anthony Wong

Drawing on self-determination theory and the service-profit chain, this study aims to expand the current understanding of the internal processes of internal market…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on self-determination theory and the service-profit chain, this study aims to expand the current understanding of the internal processes of internal market orientation (IMO) on an organizational commitment by investigating the interactive effect between job (task) satisfaction and internal service quality in the field of hospitality and tourism.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examines the cross-level effects of internal service quality through a time-lagged field study with multilevel structural equation modeling analysis that involved 667 frontline employees from 40 casino hotels.

Findings

The results reveal the IMO has an indirect effect on affective and normative organizational commitments through the interaction of job (task) satisfaction with internal service quality, such that internal service quality compensates for relatively low levels of job (task) satisfaction. While no indirect effect is found on continuance organizational commitment.

Research limitations/implications

This study extends the service-profit chain by integrating self-determination theory and by investigating IMO’s indirect effects on commitment through the interaction between job (task) satisfaction and internal service quality.

Practical implications

The study provides practical solutions to the employee servicing and employee retention dilemmas faced by casino organizations.

Originality/value

This study advances the service-profit chain literature by proposing and theorizing an internal process of IMO, through the cross-level buffering effect of internal service quality on the relationship between job (task) satisfaction and organizational commitment. This study further presents the theoretical and managerial implications by understanding how employees’ perceptions and interpretations of IMO affect their commitment.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2020

Leigh De Bruin, Mornay Roberts-Lombard and Christine De Meyer-Heydenrych

This study aims to explore the extent to which internal marketing influences employees’ perceived ability to deliver service quality in the Islamic banking industry in…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the extent to which internal marketing influences employees’ perceived ability to deliver service quality in the Islamic banking industry in Oman. Additionally, the influence of perceived service quality on perceived customer satisfaction is established.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was obtained from retail banking branch employees at the customer front line of Islamic banks in Oman using electronic and person-administered surveys, and 272 responses were deemed suitable for data analysis. The measurement and structural models were measured through structural equation modelling.

Findings

The findings show that internal promotion, internal process and internal purpose are enablers of employees’ perceived ability to deliver service quality in the Islamic banking industry of Oman. In addition, service quality was found to have a strong positive influence on perceived customer satisfaction in Islamic banks.

Research limitations/implications

This study demonstrates that internal product, internal price, internal promotion, internal process and internal purpose are influencers of service quality, and the latter has a direct relationship with perceived customer satisfaction in Islamic banking.

Practical implications

The findings can guide the Islamic banking sector in Oman on how internal marketing can foster service quality, ultimately leading to positive perceived customer satisfaction experiences.

Originality/value

The internal marketing mix model is predominately a Western model, which has been tested primarily in mature Western markets. This study reflects on ten internal marketing mix elements, which have been tested for the enablement of service quality and perceived customer satisfaction in Oman.

Details

Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Hadi Akbarzade Khorshidi, Sanaz Nikfalazar and Indra Gunawan

The purpose of this paper is to implement statistical process control (SPC) in service quality using three-level SERVQUAL, quality function deployment (QFD) and internal

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to implement statistical process control (SPC) in service quality using three-level SERVQUAL, quality function deployment (QFD) and internal measure.

Design/methodology/approach

The SERVQUAL questionnaire is developed according to internal services of train. Also, it is verified by reliability scale and factor analysis. QFD method is employed for translating SERVQUAL dimensions’ importance weights which are derived from Analytic Hierarchy Process into internal measures. Furthermore, the limits of the Zone of Tolerance are used to determine service quality specification limits based on normal distribution characteristics. Control charts and process capability indices are used to control service processes.

Findings

SPC is used for service quality through a structured framework. Also, an adapted SERVQUAL questionnaire is created for measuring quality of train’s internal services. In the case study, it is shown that reliability is the most important dimension in internal services of train for the passengers. Also, the service process is not capable to perform in acceptable level.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed algorithm is practically applied to control the quality of a train’s services. Internal measure is improved for continuous data collection and process monitoring. Also, it provides an opportunity to apply SPC on intangible attributes of the services. In the other word, SPC is used to control the qualitative specifications of the service processes which have been measured by SERVQUAL.

Originality/value

Since SPC is usually used for manufacturing processes, this paper develops a model to use SPC in services in presence of qualitative criteria. To reach this goal, this model combines SERVQUAL, QFD, normal probability distribution, control charts, and process capability. In addition, it is a novel research on internal services of train with regard to service quality evaluation and process control.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2008

Victoria Bellou and Andreas Andronikidis

The increasing importance of customer satisfaction is uncontested. Yet, banks are currently facing another major challenge, meeting the changing needs of customers. For…

Abstract

Purpose

The increasing importance of customer satisfaction is uncontested. Yet, banks are currently facing another major challenge, meeting the changing needs of customers. For this reason, the present study aims to examine the effect that internal service quality has on employees' prosocial customer behaviour displayed, which is crucial for customers' perception of service quality. This effect was examined both for publicly and for privately held banks.

Design/methodology/approach

Out of 19 banks that operate in a major Greek city, 16 agreed to cooperate. The researchers personally administered 10 questionnaires to front‐line employees of every branch, on a random basis, and gathered 113 usable questionnaires. Responses were analysed using descriptive statistics, and regression analyses.

Findings

The findings indicate that employees are more likely to improve their general performance and are more cooperative when internal service quality exists. Despite the fact that employees in both sectors agree to the fact that reliability and access are critical for displaying role‐prescribed customer behaviour, there are significant difference with regards to cooperation and extra‐role customer behaviour.

Research limitations/implications

Since, the study took place in only one Greek city, increasing the sample base both in terms of the number of cities and respondents could provide safer generalizations of findings.

Practical implications

Quality circles, employee involvement and human resource management policies designed to stress internal service quality can enhance employees' willingness to serve customers, and in turn increase service quality provided to external customers.

Originality/value

The paper assesses the impact of internal service quality on customer service behaviour, focusing on the Greek banking sector.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 25 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Gi‐Du Kang, Jeffrey Jame and Kostas Alexandris

Internal marketing is an important approach for fostering a service‐ and customer‐oriented culture in an organization. A critical component of internal marketing is the…

Abstract

Internal marketing is an important approach for fostering a service‐ and customer‐oriented culture in an organization. A critical component of internal marketing is the provision of internal service quality. While researchers have conducted studies of internal service quality, there has been no general agreement on the measurement of the concept. Work to date has attempted to use the SERVQUAL instrument as a tool for measuring internal service quality. Researchers have not, however, demonstrated that the instrument can be reasonably modified to measure internal service quality. The current study modified the SERVQUAL instrument for a service setting and empirically tested and confirmed that it is appropriate for measuring internal service quality. While previous research has not confirmed the validity and reliability of all five SERVQUAL dimensions in a service setting, the results of the current study confirmed that all five dimensions – reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy, responsiveness – were distinct and conceptually clear.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2009

Paul J. Vella, John Gountas and Rhett Walker

Internal organisational aspects of service delivery from the employee's perspective have received some attention in the literature. However, there is a need for more…

Abstract

Purpose

Internal organisational aspects of service delivery from the employee's perspective have received some attention in the literature. However, there is a need for more detailed empirical research to explore the possible impacts of specific internal service factors (ISFs) on service quality. This paper seeks to consider the overall influence of customer‐employee interactions, and to discuss and test empirically the relative influence of five ISFs that interface with internal marketing strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical data were collected from a sample (n=202) of supermarket employees across a large metropolitan city. The data analysis used bivariate correlations, stepwise regression, and structural equation modelling.

Findings

The main research findings, from the employee perceptions of service quality, suggest that there are three main predictor variables, namely, service orientation, service role flexibility, and non‐standardised scripted behaviour. The most important internal service quality predictor variable is employees' service orientation attitude, followed by non‐standardised scripted service behaviour and third by the organisational policy to adopt and change (flexible) service roles.

Research limitations/implications

The research needs to be expanded by investigating simultaneously the viewpoints about service quality by managers and actual consumers.

Practical implications

Retail marketing managers need to be mindful that ISFs have the potential to indirectly influence consumer perceptions through employee behaviours and perceptions of customers' needs. The five ISFs identified in this research can serve as a basis for differentiating a service brand.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the importance of five internal service success factors that influence service quality.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Frederick A. Frost and Mukesh Kumar

Explores the extent to which the construct service quality plays in an internal marketing setting. A conceptual model known as the “Internal Service Quality Model” was…

Abstract

Explores the extent to which the construct service quality plays in an internal marketing setting. A conceptual model known as the “Internal Service Quality Model” was designed based on the original “GAP Model” developed by Parasuraman. The model evaluated the dimensions, and their relationships, that determine service quality among internal customers (front‐line staff) and internal suppliers (support staff) within a large service organisation, namely, Singapore Airlines. The dependent variable in this study was internal service quality (ISQ), while the independent variables were tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy. The results suggest that the perceptions and expectations of internal customers and internal suppliers play a major role in recognising the level of internal service quality perceived. The acceptance of the postulated hypotheses has confirmed the importance of the internal service quality construct, thus acknowledging the usefulness of the INTSERVQUAL instrument and the conceptualised Internal Service Quality Model proposed in this research study.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1995

Bernd Stauss

The ultimate goal of total quality programmes is customersatisfaction. In order to reach that goal, TQM applies the customerorientation maxim internally, assuming that it…

Abstract

The ultimate goal of total quality programmes is customer satisfaction. In order to reach that goal, TQM applies the customer orientation maxim internally, assuming that it can be applied without problems to internal services, too. Analyses the justification for this assumption. Argues that the concept of internal customer orientation only makes sense for workflow and audit/advice services, while evaluation/audit relationships do not comprise any kind of customer‐supplier relationship. It is shown that internal customer orientation does not arise automatically but results from management decisions which bring about an appropriate setting. Deals with the characteristics of workflow and non‐standardized support/ advice services and the consequences of these for the employment of customer‐oriented quality instruments. Points out that the strict realization of internal customer orientation can cause problems which prevent organizations from improving the quality of their products and services which are marketed externally.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2011

Gamini Gunawardane

Service quality has been an active area of research during the last two decades. In this research, typically, service quality is considered from the viewpoint of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Service quality has been an active area of research during the last two decades. In this research, typically, service quality is considered from the viewpoint of the customer who is the recipient of the service, i.e. the “external customer”, and the research efforts have focused on identifying the dimensions of quality in this “external service encounter”. In the majority of these studies, “reliability” has been identified as the most prominent dimension among the various dimensions of the external service encounter. In recent times, researchers have also highlighted the importance of “internal customers” and the existence of an “internal service encounter”. The objectives of the research project reported here were: to investigate whether “reliability” is perceived as an important dimension in the internal service encounter as well, and, if so, to ascertain how service managers define “reliability” in the internal service encounter; and to examine whether the perceived importance of “reliability” in the internal service encounter varies with the type of the internal service encounter.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review and manager interviews were used to ascertain the role and meaning of “reliability” in the internal service encounter and different types of internal service encounters. A field study in the health care industry was performed to examine whether the relative importance of “reliability” in the internal service encounter, vis‐à‐vis other dimensions, varies in different types of internal service encounters.

Findings

As with the external service encounter, “reliability” emerges as a key dimension in evaluating the quality of an internal service encounter. The meaning assigned to “reliability” in the internal service encounter is similar to that established for the external service encounter in that both focus on the accuracy of the outcome and dependability. A new dimension of “reliability” that became apparent was the need for flexibility, communication and problem‐solving support. This is probably due to the time‐consuming project nature of the internal service encounter, where the internal customer feels the need to be able to openly discuss its needs with the internal service provider and the latter's flexibility and patience in attending to these needs. The importance of “reliability” vis‐à‐vis other dimensions of internal service quality does vary with the type of internal service encounter.

Practical implications

The study and its findings highlight possible actions managers can adopt to improve the quality and effectiveness of a variety of internal service encounter types.

Originality/value

As research on the role of “reliability” as a dimension of internal service quality is rare, this paper presents a novel effort, i.e. a combination of various interpretations of “reliability” of the internal service encounter in the limited literature and views of managers of a large industry, to identify the role and meaning of “reliability” in the internal service encounter. There is no report in the literature of any previous efforts to investigate whether the importance attached by managers to “reliability” (as a factor of internal service quality) varies with the type of internal service encounter. The paper also proposes a novel typology for classifying internal service encounters.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 28 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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