Exploring the role of internal service quality in the manufacturing context

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Exploring the role of internal service quality in the manufacturing context

 

Author: Kong, Tak Chuen Titus
Title: Exploring the role of internal service quality in the manufacturing context
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2012
Subject: Marketing -- Management.
Organizational effectiveness.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Graduate School of Business
Pages: xi, 139 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2623478
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7036
Abstract: Internal marketing is an important topic in marketing research that treats employees in an organization as internal customers and explores the influence of internal service quality and employee satisfaction on external service quality, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profitability. However, most research on internal marketing focuses on service industry, such as airlines, banks, telecom companies, hotels etc. with service providers directly interacting with customers. However, in a manufacturing context employees need to interact with each other to provide the products that satisfy their end-customers without ever meeting them. Hence, it is important to understand the role of internal service in the manufacturing context and explore how it may be different from that in the service industry. Services marketing theories such as the Gap Model (Parasuraman et al, 1985), SERVQUAL (Parasuraman et al, 1988), Services Marketing triangle (Kotler and Armstrong, 1991), Service-Profit Chain (Heskett et al, 1994), and Service-dominant logic (Vargo and Lusch 2004) provide the conceptual foundation for the study of internal marketing. However, all these were developed in the services industry context and hence it is not clear if these would equally apply in the manufacturing context. The purpose of this research is to explore the role of internal service quality (ISQ) and its relationship with other important constructs (e.g., employee satisfaction, commitment, subjective health and performance) in the manufacturing context. A quantitative survey with 250 employees in an Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) company in Guangdong, China is used to test all the hypotheses. In this research, we discovered several important findings about internal service quality. First, internal service quality has a direct significant positive influence on employee satisfaction, commitment, subjective health and performance. Second, commitment has a positive impact on the subjective health of the employees. Third, satisfaction does not have any direct effect on employee commitment, subjective health and performance. Fourth, a group analysis of gender indicates different behaviours between male and female workers. Fifth, a group analysis of work tenure indicates different behaviours between new and old workers. These findings provide evidence about the relevance of internal service quality in the manufacturing context by showing its impact on employee commitment, satisfaction, subjective health and performance. Therefore, it is important from a managerial perspective to develop a better understanding of the role of internal service in order to improve employee satisfaction, commitment and performance.

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