Vol. 8 No. 3 (2020): Business & Management Studies: An International Journal


Asisst. Prof. Dr., Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University, Health Practice and Research Hospital

Published 2020-09-25


  • Internal marketing, dimensions of internal marketing, job satisfaction, service
  • İçsel pazarlama, içsel pazarlamanın boyutları, iş tatmini, hizmet

How to Cite

YANIK, G., & TANIŞ, V. (2020). EMPLOYEES AS A CUSTOMER: AN APPLICATION IN HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES. Business & Management Studies: An International Journal, 8(3), 3690–3709. https://doi.org/10.15295/bmij.v8i3.1566



 The happy employees for happy customers motto lead businesses to a people-oriented approach. In the realisation of the primary objectives of the business, the presence of happy customers is realised with employees who are satisfied with their business processes. The starting point of internal marketing practices is that employees examine their roles, gain awareness of customer satisfaction and adopt service orientation. These practices are considered as an essential management approach in ensuring employee motivation.

 In the research, it has been investigated whether internal marketing practices affect job satisfaction. In this context, the effects of internal marketing on job satisfaction were examined. On the other hand, the willingness of employees to become customers of their institutions and to recommend their institution's services to others is also investigated. 


The main population of the research is the employees of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Education and Research Hospital. Questionnaire method was used for data collection. Hospital employees were applied to the hospital administration for a survey, a positive response was received, and the questionnaire forms were collected through the hospital staff department. It was aimed to create a sample by reaching 30% of the hospital staff and randomly selected subjects from the hospital staff list. Subsequently, a questionnaire was distributed to 350 hospital staff. 315 questionnaire forms were returned. 24 missing questionnaire forms were eliminated, and 291 questionnaire data were analysed in IBM SPSS STATISTICS 22 package program.

 In order to measure the internal marketing variable, the “internal marketing” scale consisting of 22 items developed by Kang James and Alexandris (2002) using the Servqual service quality scale was used. The scale measures internal marketing in 5 sub-dimensions as trust, reliability, enthusiasm, empathy and physical properties. 7-item job description scale (JDI-Job Description Index) was used to measure job satisfaction. The 5-point Likert scale was used to measure all variables, consisting of the answers “absolutely disagree- absolutely agree”. The respondents said, “Would you like to be treated in the hospital you work at? “Would you recommend the hospital services you work to your relatives?” questions were also addressed. 


 The internal marketing scale used in the study consists of 5 sub-dimensions: trust, reliability, enthusiasm, empathy and physical feature. However, as a result of the factor analysis, it was determined that the internal marketing scale was collected in 3 dimensions and explained 66.5% of the total variance.

 In the results of the analysis, it was seen that the average of the employees to receive the services offered by their institutions and recommend them to their relatives is 3,52. According to the results of the correlation analysis, it was determined that there was a positive correlation at the level of 0,01 significance between trust and reliability, enthusiasm and empathy, physics feature dimensions of the request to receive the services of the institution to which the participants belong, and the service offered, job satisfaction and internal marketing. It was concluded that there was a positive correlation between the satisfaction of the service offered at the hospital to which the participants were affiliated, and job satisfaction, internal marketing confidence and reliability, enthusiasm and empathy, and physics feature dimensions at the level of 0,01 significance. It was observed that there was a positive correlation between job satisfaction and internal marketing confidence and reliability, enthusiasm and empathy, physics feature dimensions at the level of 0,01 significance.

According to the regression results;

  • Internal marketing’s trust and reliability dimension (β =, 306 p <0.05), physical feature dimension (β =, 466 p <0.05) have a positive effect on job satisfaction,
  • The physical feature dimension of internal marketing (β =, 294 p <0.05) has a positive effect on the organisation’s desire to receive the service,
  • It was concluded that the trust and reliability dimension of internal marketing (β =, 275 p <0.05) had a positive effect on the service, which is the outcome of the organisation.

 Internal marketing is the implementation of marketing philosophy and practices by adapting them to organisation employees. It has been suggested that investing in this practice will provide job satisfaction and organisational commitment in employees (Kanyurhi & Akonkwa, 2016) (Du Preez & Bendixen, 2015). In the study, the effect of internal marketing on job satisfaction was examined. Besides, employees were asked about their potential to become an external customer of their organisation, and 70% of them answered yes. At the same rate, they stated that they would recommend the service offered by their hospitals to their relatives. This result gives the impression that hospital staff trust the work outcomes of their institutions. Because trust in an organisation is the perception of the individual that the institution he/she works for will not harm himself/herself or think about his/her interests. Organisational trust brings job satisfaction and commitment to it (Erkılıç & Aydın, 2019).

 It is seen that the literature does not focus on the effects of internal marketing on job satisfaction based on its dimensions. When the effect of internal marketing sub-dimensions on job satisfaction is examined, the positive effects of trust and reliability and physical characteristics on job satisfaction are determined; no effect of enthusiasm and empathy dimensions was found. It has been observed that studies are supporting the results regarding the positive effects of trust and reliability and physical characteristics dimensions on job satisfaction. For example, the absence of Gounaris internal marketing policies and practices prevents employee satisfaction (Gounaris, 2008), and Mainardes et al. Stated that internal marketing positively affects job satisfaction (Mainardes et al., 2019). In this context, internal marketing policies and procedures should be included in management practices. Within the scope of internal marketing practices, they will feel like a valuable stakeholder of the institution by improving the working conditions of the employees and establishing physical and psychological trust elements in the working environment. This will provide a positive change in satisfaction levels and a positive attitude and behaviour towards customers.

 Concerning the functioning of the bureaucracy model, the reason why the enthusiasm and empathy dimension of internal marketing does not affect job satisfaction in the research results is that the research is carried out in the public hospital; It is thought that not sharing the desired level of information, not being rewarded fairly for efforts, and efforts to empower employees may be insufficient. It is known that there are studies on the effects of the reward system on motivation and satisfaction. Papsolomou et al. (2017) suggested that as a result of internal marketing practices, the financial and psychological rewards offered by the institution can provide the employee’s perception of value and motivation, and the reward system will create job satisfaction (Papasolomou et al., 2017).

 It is argued that developing and maintaining a high-level employee-oriented application in an institution equates to financial and operational success (Kanyurhi & Akonkwa, 2016). Accordingly, it is expected that some applications such as awards and training in internal marketing applications will provide job satisfaction and organisational performance increase. Therefore, managers have to understand the needs of employees (internal customers) and create a fair reward system for them, as well as establish an interactive and two-way communication system. On the other hand, internal marketing requires significant interaction between the units of the institution. It is thought that the effectiveness of internal marketing practices will increase as a result of the inclusion of human resources issues in marketing issues by marketing managers and the inclusion of marketing practices by human resources managers in the human resources plan.

 In the study, the effects of the dimensions of internal marketing on job satisfaction were examined; The level of influence of each dimension was measured. It is believed that the results obtained will contribute to eliminating the deficiencies in management practices. The data regarding the results of the study were realised in a public hospital operating in the province of Rize. The thought that the possible effects of differences regarding the socio-cultural characteristics peculiar to the region and the nature of public institutions may have reflected on the results revealed the necessity of new fields of work. The application of the study in different sectors is essential for the validity of the results obtained.


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