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
Introduction:
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 “Competitive
Remuneration”.  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.  
References:
·        
Spiros P. Gounaris *
(2006), “ Internal-market orientation and its measurement” Journal of Business
Research 59 (2006) 432 – 448
·        
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: www.qci.rutgers.edu

 [A1]erour
Share this Post: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google Plus StumbleUpon Reddit RSS Email

Related Posts

Leave a Comment