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Internal Marketing – An Essential Condition for Improving the Quality of Indian Higher Education?

Internal Marketing – An Essential Condition for Improving the Quality of Indian Higher Education?
Dr. S. Shyam Prasad                                                                                 Dr. Shampa Nandi
Education in India started at 3rd century B.C, mostly focussed on religious education and imparting knowledge orally. Education was free, but normally well off students used to donate some “Gurudakshina” to their gurus as a token of respect and appreciation. In the medieval period, Indian higher education system was flourished with renowned universities like Nalanda, Takshila, Ujjain & Vikramshila universities where students across globe used to visit. Teachers or Gurus, with high level of intrinsic motivation were highly respected in society and teaching profession was a high esteemed selfless profession. About one and half century ago the modern university system started in India with the establishment of Calcutta, Madras, Bombay and some other universities between 1857 to 1902, modelled after British universities. As of 2014, there are 677 universities, 37,204 colleges and 11443 stand-alone institutions in India.  According to Kapil Sibbal, ex-union HRD minister India needs 800 new universities to be established by 2020 to meet the massive demand of India because of its aspiration of emerging as a global knowledge hub. But at the same time several recent studies have revealed that overall condition and quality of Indian higher education is dismal and except one or two, none of the Indian universities features among top two hundred in global ranking. Automatically question arises where exactly Indian higher education went wrong?
Importance of Internal Marketing in Higher Education:
Education sector demands very high level of personal contacts and quality of educational sector is highly dependent on the contribution of the teachers. In educational institutions students are considered as primary customers and again they are reshaped into final products to be sold in the job market. Therefore the role of teachers in higher education are very challenging. Teachers in higher education should consider teaching and research in a complementary way. Special emphasis should be given on assessment orientation teaching and research. Involvement of the teachers in higher education institutions also play an important role in achieving success of the institute. Again he would be able to secure and retain the coveted place only by fulfilling the needs of his students. In order to accomplish all of these, he has to find satisfaction in his work (Rao, 2004). Education sector definitely need much spending in internal motivation. With passage of time teaching has evolved as any other profession and organisations play a large role in motivating the teaching professionals. Consequently “Internal Marketing” comes in the picture of Higher education sector.
Internal marketing seems easy to understand but mostly forgettable by the companies as they are more focused towards external marketing and creating a brand. In an institute where exactly does it fit, in HR, Strategic plan or in Marketing? In a simple term “Internal Marketing” is the application of all theories and practices of marketing to the firm’s employees so that best people are employed and retained by the organisation and ultimately they provide quality services to the customers.
Review of Literature:
Success of any service organisation is dependent on the firm’s ability to create competitive advantage. Service employees are critical as they provide performances (Lovelock, 1983). Jan Carlzon (1987) of Scandinavian Airlines was one of the first who referred the employees serving customers as “moments of truth” as they are primarily responsible to create and maintain lifetime relationships with customers. According to Chase (1978) in case of high contact services like, banks, health care, restaurant the quality of services are inseparable from the quality of service provider. Employees at contact points virtually shape the service outcome and hence become an essential part of product. Education is of course a perfect example of high contact service
where teachers play an important role in service outcome.
Internal Marketing has become a centralised theme of importance among academicians and service organisations.
Research objectives:
R.M. Harden & J. Crosby (2000) have identified twelve roles of teachers in higher education which can be grouped in six areas –
·         The knowledge dispenser and information provider
·         Act as a role model in formal teaching environment
·         Mentor and learning facilitator
·         Assessor and evaluator of students
·         Curriculum planner
·         Study guide.
Almost all the above roles demand a direct interaction among teachers and students. Therefore higher education is an industry where internal marketing plays a very important role. Many researcher have defined “Internal Marketing” as promoting of the organisation and its products to its employees. But this definition is partially true in education sector where knowledge is the part of the product and students are the final products. Therefore I was interested in knowing the various dimensions of “Internal Marketing” which influence the academicians in higher education sector. The present study makes an effort to explore various dimensions related to internal marketing applicable in Indian higher education sector and relate them with the existing literatures available.
Research Methodology:
The present study is confined to measure the dimensions of  “Internal Marketing” in  higher education– among the teachers – the term which goes on to include professors and lectures of all grades and excludes school teachers – are the employees of educational institutes. An earlier research termed as “Internal-market orientation and its measurement” done by Spiros P. Gounaris at Greece (2006) was considered. At an initial level,
to check the reliability and validity of the research instrument a pilot test was done among a selected group of senior level professors. Reliability of the questionnaire was checked through
Chronbach Alpha test and the value was obtained as 0.917, which is above the threshold value.  Some suggestions incorporated in the questionnaire to enhance the content validity and legibility of the research instrument, the questionnaire. The final questionnaire was sent to all the faculty members in the higher education via email personally and was put on google docs. 79 responses were received across India.
Data analysis & Conclusion:
An attempt was made in this study to generate the dimensions measuring “Internal Marketing” applicable to Indian Higher Education sector. Initially twenty two statements related to IM screened from various literatures were used to find the dimensions of IM using Exploratory Factor Analysis” and they are “Management Concern & Empowerment”, “Communication between employees and next level authority”, “Training & Development” and “CompetitiveRemuneration”.  The result obtained is consistent with previous findings of Albert Carura and Peter Calleyain (1998). Their research revealed that IM consists of three constructs clear goals, feedback, challenging job as well as reward system. Next to confirm with the pre-existing dimensions a “Confirmatory Factor Analysis” was done. First of all each factor is analysed considering number of items for Reliability test and all the above four cases the Cronbach Alpha is more than 0.50. So these four constructs have been used in our next part of analysis. The purpose of CFA is to check whether the statements listed under each dimension were in turn intended to measure what it wanted to measure, to assure whether the statements of each dimensions load well on their respective factors. Based on the result [ CMIN/DF = 1.491 (should be below 5), model fitting parameters GFI= 0.971,  CFI=0.919, TLI=0.907 (should be more than 0.9),  RMR =0.197 and RMSEA=0.079 (should be less than 0.05) ], it can be concluded our hypothesized model of Internal Marketing fits the sample data moderately well.  Findings of the current study is also falling in line with previous findings of  Spiros P. Gounaris (2005), where an empirical investigation was made to measure company’s adoption of Internal Market Orientation.It was pointed out in that study that assessment of internal marketing have evolved a lot and its contribution to organisational commitment also verified but very few educational institutes actually implemented IM in practice. Similar opinion was carried by Ruben (1999) who indicated that most higher education centres paid little attention to measure students’, faculty and staff satisfaction despite the fact that attracting and retaining best talent/people is the primary goal and critical success factor for institutions of higher learning. As pointed out by numerous [A1] researchers Berry et al, 1976 ; Sassar and Arbeit, 1976, William, 1977; Tansuhaj et al, 1987; Ahmed & Raffiq 2000, Ballantyne, 2003, IM strategies should be adopted by higher educational institutions to motivate teachers to excel through competitive performance and  updated knowledge . At the same time many academician even argue that teaching is a noble profession and intrinsic motivation sometimes play a larger role in teachers’ satisfaction.  
·         Spiros P. Gounaris * (2006), “ Internal-market orientation and its measurement” Journal of Business Research 59 (2006) 432 – 448
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Ruben, B.D. (1999), “Toward a balanced scorecard of higher education: rethinking the college and universities excellence framework”, Higher Education Forum – QCI Center for Organizational Development and Leadership, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ, available at: