Inside-Out : Investigating the link between internal marketing and service quality in Swedish retail
Abstract: This thesis is a qualitative research that provides an understanding of store managers perception of internal marketing on the Swedish retail market. It also describes how the store managers use internal marketing to guide their frontline employees to deliver high quality service. This research aims to highlight the importance of service deliverance in the retail sector. Due to the changes that are taking place within retail where globalization, digitalisation and automation are changing customers' views on trade, it is becoming increasingly important to differentiate themselves. More and more physical stores are finding it difficult to survive and many are forced to shut down. This study therefore wants to highlight the use of internal marketing to be able to deliver high quality service at the encounter between the frontline employees and the customer in physical stores. Therefore, the study will give answers to the following questions: (1) How do store managers on the Swedish retail market perceive internal marketing? (2) How are internal marketing used in physical stores to work with service quality deliverance? To answer these two questions a meticulous examination of previous studies on the concepts internal marketing, employee satisfaction and service quality was made. A conceptual framework for the study was set to classify and analyse the findings of the study. The empirical findings consis data collected through semi-structured interviews with six store managers of three different retail stores on the Swedish market. It was concluded that the store managers perception of internal marketing is unclear but that they all believe it is important. Nevertheless, it can be seen that internal marketing is important and that the store managers work daily with activities to guide the frontline employees to deliver high quality service. However, these activities are not expressed as internal marketing among the companies and store managers. It was also concluded that the service quality delivered by the frontline employees was significant to the success of the stores in the store manager's point of view.
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