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From internal marketing to customer perceived relationship quality evidence of vietnamese banking firms

Total Quality Management & Business Excellence

ISSN: 1478-3363 (Print) 1478-3371 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ctqm20

From internal marketing to customer- perceived
relationship quality: evidence of Vietnamese
banking firms
Jong Hee Park & Thi Bich Hanh Tran
To cite this article: Jong Hee Park & Thi Bich Hanh Tran (2018): From internal marketing to
customer- perceived relationship quality: evidence of Vietnamese banking firms, Total Quality
Management & Business Excellence, DOI: 10.1080/14783363.2018.1446754
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/14783363.2018.1446754

Published online: 07 Mar 2018.

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Total Quality Management, 2018
https://doi.org/10.1080/14783363.2018.1446754

From internal marketing to customer- perceived relationship quality:
evidence of Vietnamese banking firms
Jong Hee Parka and Thi Bich Hanh Tranb*
a

College of Business Administration, University of Ulsan, Ulsan, Republic of Korea; bDepartment
of Business Administration, VNU-Vietnam Japan University, Hanoi, Vietnam
This study seeks to investigate the effect of internal marketing – treating employees as
internal customers – on salesperson’s engagement in customer-oriented selling
behaviour and relational selling behaviour which in turn result in customer perceived
relationship quality. It also aims at examining the moderating role of service climate
for employee relationship marketing behaviours. The data were collected through
surveys from dyadic interactions between salespeople and customers in banking firms
in Vietnam. The results showed that internal marketing is significantly associated
with salesperson’s customer-oriented selling behaviour and relational selling
behaviour which are relevant to customer relationship quality. In addition, service
climate significantly moderates the influence of internal marketing on salesperson
customer-oriented selling behaviour; whereas, service climate does not serve as a
crucial moderator for salesperson relational selling behaviour. The study concludes
with useful scholarly and managerial implications.
Keywords: internal marketing; customer-oriented selling behaviour; relational selling
behaviour; relationship quality; service climate

1. Introduction
Nowadays, parallel to intense competition which enables customers to have more options
for their products and services, service firms have increasingly paid attention to maintaining
relationships with customers (Marshall & Johnston, 2015). In the service industries, customer perception of relationship quality with the contact employees plays an important role in
inducing customer relationships with the firms because customers perceive treatment of the
contact employees as treatment of the organisations (Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, & Gremler,
2002). Perceived relationship quality has been linked to several positive customer outcomes
such as customer retention (Hennig-Thurau, 2000), repurchase intention (De Wulf, Odekerken-Schroder, & Iacobucci, 2001), positive word-of-mouth behaviours (Roberts, Varki, &


Brodie, 2003), and customer loyalty (de Ruyter, Wetzels, & Kleijnen, 2001; HennigThurau et al., 2002; Park, Kim, Dubinsky, & Lee, 2010). Furthermore, a strong relationship
with contact employees may reduce customers’ likelihood to be against organisation like
complaining to other customers or complaining to external agencies (Hoyer & MacInnis,
1997). Customer perceived relationship quality with contact employees also prompts
more customers’ understanding when a service failure occurs (Reynolds & Arnold,
2000). Therefore, study of drivers for relationship quality is valuable for organisations to
obtain several positive outcomes.
Internal marketing – treating employees as internal customers – has been recently
stressed as an effective approach to achieving organisational goals (Kanyurhi &

*Corresponding author. Email: tranthibichhanh@vnu.edu.vn or ttb.hanh@vju.ac.vn
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


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J.H. Park and T.B.H. Tran

Akonkwa, 2016; Rafiq & Ahmed, 2000); however, little has been known about whether
internal marketing is a strong driver for customer’s perceived relationship quality or not.
This void in research needs to be addressed because apart from service quality that has
received remarkable attention from internal marketing scholars (Bansal, Mendelson, &
Sharma, 2001; Aburoub, Hersh, & Aladwan, 2011), relationship quality is a different
approach to explaining long-term outcomes (Hennig-Thurau et al., 2002) or an important
way that leads service businesses to success (Hsieh & Hiang, 2004). According to Christopher, Payne, and Ballantyne (1991), organisation’s focus on relationship is vital to bring
about the desired delivery of value to customers. From a different angle, the internal marketing-relationship quality linkage has been partly captured in the studies of services marketing triangle through the connection of internal marketing and relationship marketing
because relationship quality is a principle component of relationship marketing (Pepur,
Mihanovic, & Pepur, 2013). Yet, the studies in this ground either conceptually proposed
the relation while lacking empirical assessment (Opoku, Opuni, & Adjei, 2014) or evaluated relationship marketing as a general construct (Wu, Tsai, & Fu, 2013). Therefore,
empirical study of internal marketing – relationship quality link will offer a deep insight
into the role of internal marketing for relationship marketing.
In addition, given the importance of relationship quality for business success and the
novelty of the exploration of the internal marketing – relationship quality linkage, research
on the influential mechanisms between them will be necessary to both the practical and
scholarly field. An extant review suggests that the most widely-studied mediators
between internal marketing and customer – related consequences are attitudinal mediators
like job satisfaction (Altarifi, 2014; Bailey, Albassami, & Al-Meshal, 2016) and organisational commitment (Tsai & Wu, 2011). Nevertheless, the inconclusive findings from
prior studies about these mechanisms (Altarifi, 2014; Bailey et al., 2016) suggest that
other strong drivers may account for the effect. According to Bansal et al.’s (2001) proposition, the link between internal marketing and external customers-related outcomes is
the internal customers’ (i.e. employees) behaviours directed at external customers, but
the study did not provide empirical assessment of the phenomenon. Apart from this
welcome example, little research, to date, has been dedicated to the mediating role of
employee behaviours directed at customers in the relationship.
In the era of relationship marketing, customer-oriented selling behaviour and relational
selling behaviour have been suggested as effective approaches to establishing and nurturing
long-term relations with customers (Bayaa, Goedegebuure, & Jones, 2009; Franke & Park,
2006). Evidentially, Kim and Cha (2002) found from their empirical study that among
service provider’s characteristics, these two behaviours have the largest effects on customer
perceived relationship quality. Regrettably, while prior studies have examined the effect of
internal marketing on employee customer orientation (Rafiq & Ahmed, 2000; Yusuf,
Sukati, & Chin, 2014) and the impacts of employee customer-oriented selling behaviour,
relational selling behaviour on customer perceived relationship quality (Crosby, Evans,
& Cowles, 1990; Lai, Chou, & Cheung, 2013; Liu & Leach, 2001; Stock & Hoyer,
2005), little research has directly tested the mediating role of employee customer-oriented
selling behaviour and relational selling behaviour between internal marketing and customer
perceived relationship quality. The present study attempts to investigate the possibility that
these behaviours are mechanisms between internal marketing and customer perceived
relationship quality.
Furthermore, if internal marketing is conducive to employees’ performance of customer-oriented selling behaviour and relational selling behaviour which later lead to customer
perceived relationship quality, a question raised is whether the effects are significantly


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3

fluctuated by a viable factor. To our knowledge, individual factors like salesperson
empathy, expertise (Stock & Hoyer, 2005), and salesperson gender and selling experience
(Franke & Park, 2006) have been widely studied as significant moderators for customeroriented selling behaviour and relational selling behaviour. On the contrary, the moderating
role of specific types of organisational climate has been overlooked. According to Burke,
Borucki, and Hurley (1992), the two factors shaping employees’ perceptions of the work
environment and so affecting employee behaviours include a focus on satisfying employees’ needs (i.e. internal marketing) and a concern for service quality for customers that is
manifested in a strong service climate. Nevertheless, no studies have examined the possible
interaction between the two factors for employee behaviours. Drawing on social cognitive
theory (Bandura, 1986) which portrays the influence of environmental or situational factors
on personal behaviours, the present study seeks to evaluate whether and to what degree
service climate, as an environmental factor (Schneider, White, & Paul, 1998), moderates
the relationship between internal marketing and salesperson’s relationship marketing behaviours. Besides, service climate can be a promising moderator since it has been found to be
positively associated to salespeople’s satisfaction (Ram, Bhargavi, & Prabhakar, 2011)
which may motivate them to engage in positive behaviours. Also, there exists empirical evidence on the moderating influence of service climate for employees’ organisational citizenship behaviours (Sharif, Yaqub, & Baig, 2015) and pro-social behaviours (Wang, 2012).
The Vietnamese banking context was purposefully selected for the study. Since Vietnam’s participation in WTO in 2006, a considerable number of foreign banks have
entered Vietnam, heightening the competitiveness (Nguyen & Nguyen, 2012). Accordingly, banking firms in Vietnam have faced a severe competition in several issues including
winning, retaining customers and keeping talented staff. Joint-stock commercial banks that
accounted for a major number of banks in Vietnam faced a tougher situation as they have a
comparatively small capital and deposit base, and retail banking is a key source of their
profits, akin to loans to small and medium enterprises. Progressive practices like internal
marketing for motivating banking employees to serve customers and so sustaining relationships with customers are vital for these banks to survive and prosper. Therefore, study of
internal marketing and relationship quality on the sample of Vietnamese joint-stock commercial banks will not only represent a major population in Vietnam’s banking industry
but also be a timely research that is practically valuable for banking firms in Vietnam.
The study’s main purpose is to investigate the chain effect of internal marketing on
salesperson’s engagement in customer-oriented selling behaviour, relational selling behaviour and customer perceived relationship quality. Its secondary purpose is to test whether
employee relationship marketing behaviours mediate the linkage between internal marketing and customer relationship quality. It also aims at examining the moderating role of
service climate in the influence of internal marketing on employee relationship marketing
behaviours. In this way, the study may extend the current literature of internal marketing
and relationship marketing by specifying the relationship between them. Also, it may
upgrade the knowledge base of the role of employee relationship marketing behaviours.
Finally, the study may provide useful managerial implications for organisations, particularly banking firms in Vietnam, to sustain relationships with customers.
2. Theoretical background and hypothesis development
Social exchange theory (Blau, 1964) has been well-known as a powerful theory to explicate
human behaviours in a variety of contexts, including organisational environments. It postulates that when one party does a favour or something valuable for the other party, the


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J.H. Park and T.B.H. Tran

receiving party tries to reciprocate with something equally valuable (Shore, Tetrick, Lynch,
& Barksdale, 2006). It is reasonable to interpret salesperson’s involvement in relationship
marketing behaviours with customers resulted from internal marketing from social
exchange theory because internal marketing allows for harmonious social exchanges
and increases salesperson’s satisfaction and motivations in their jobs (Ahmed & Rafiq,
2003). Social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986) holds that personal behaviour, cognition,
and social environment are dynamically interactional or influence each other. Its tenet
that individuals learn by paying attention to and emulating the attitudes, values, and behaviours of attractive and credible models may lend support for the moderating influence of
service climate for salesperson behaviours since service climate is an environmental factor
(Li, Zhu, & Luo, 2010). Henceforth, social exchange theory and social cognitive theory
serve as theoretical lens explicating for employee engagement in relationship marketing
behaviours in this study.
2.1. Internal marketing and employee relationship marketing behaviours
Internal marketing was first defined as ‘viewing employees as internal customers, viewing
jobs as internal products, and then endeavoring to offer internal products that satisfy the
needs and wants of these internal customers while addressing the objectives of the organization’ (Berry, 1981, p. 34). The concept has been studied from both management and marketing perspectives. A considerable number of conceptualizations of internal marketing
have been proposed (Cahill, 1995; Lings & Brooks, 1998; Mudie, 2003; Rafiq &
Ahmed, 2000). However, no consensus has been reached on the formal model and
measure of internal marketing (Rafiq & Ahmed, 2000). A large proportion of research
viewed internal marketing as a strategy for job engineering to satisfy employees while a
smaller group of studies conceptualised internal marketing as a mechanism to integrate
the different functions that are vital to the customer relations of companies (Gounaris,
2006). Several studies have treated internal marketing as a uni-dimensional construct
(Abzari, Ghorbani, & Madani, 2011; Chang, Tseng, & Chen, 2012; Vazifehdoost, Hooshmand, & Dehafarin, 2012; Zaman, Javaid, Arshad, & Bibi, 2012). These studies have garnered a keen interest in the mechanisms between internal marketing and outcomes. For its
purposes, the present study defines internal marketing as a strategy and a marketing programme focusing on jobs that satisfy the needs of the employees. It operationalises internal
marketing as a mixture of training, internal communication, empowerment, and management support (Altarifi, 2014; Chang et al., 2012; Keller, Lynch, Ellinger, Ozment, & Calantone, 2006; Lings & Greenley, 2005). With a focus on the intervening mechanisms, it treats
internal marketing as a single construct like prior research.
From its presence, customer-oriented selling behaviour was defined as salesperson’s
practice of the marketing concept by trying to help their customers make purchase decisions
that will satisfy customers’ needs (Saxe & Weitz, 1982). In accordance with this conceptualisation, salespeople with a high customer orientation have high concern for others and
themselves. Conversely, salespeople with low customer orientation exhibit high concern
only for themselves and low concern for others (Schwepker, 2003). Later, some definitions
of customer-oriented selling have been proposed by different researchers (Brown, Mowen,
Donavan, & Licata, 2002; Stock & Hoyer, 2002), but the core meaning of customeroriented selling has been consistent across studies (Schwepker, 2003). Apparently, customer-oriented behaviour connotes salesperson’s behaviours to meet customer needs in
job-related environments or on-the-job contexts (Brown et al., 2002). Customer-oriented
selling behaviour is characterised by the salesperson’s assessment of customer needs,


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5

avoiding deception, avoiding high-pressure selling, describing products and services adequately, and helping customers make satisfactory purchase decisions (Thomas, Geoffrey,
& Ryan, 2001).
Relational selling behaviour refers to acts or behaviours exhibited by sales representatives to cultivate, maintain, and promote business relations with customers via mutual communications (Crosby et al., 1990). Crosby et al. (1990) conceptualised relational selling
behaviour with three main elements: interaction intensity, mutual disclosure of information,
and willingness to cooperate. However, later studies of services industry have focused on
only the two former because they were found more closely related to interpersonal relationships (Lin, 2012) and significantly associated with sales performance while cooperative
intention was not (Boles, Johnson, & Barksdale, 2000). Following the prior studies of services industry, the present study employed the conceptualisation of relational selling behaviour with two dimensions including interaction intensity and mutual disclosure of
information. Interaction intensity indicates the frequency of the communication with customers either for a formal business meeting with selling tasks or just for personal reasons
(Crosby et al., 1990). Mutual disclosure of information is the degree of sharing inside feelings and private information. It connotes a sharing of information on both the personal and
organisational level (Crosby et al., 1990).
In accordance with social exchange theory’s (Blau, 1964) tenet, internal marketing with
an attention to employees’ needs creates strong motivations for employees in work which
may prompt them to repay the organisation with something valuable. Exhibiting customeroriented selling behaviours to the organisation’s customers is one way to reciprocate to the
organisation because in doing so, they can retain more customers for organisations (Dunfee
& Gunther, 1999). Moreover, practices of internal marketing engender salespeople’s feelings of being cared by the company and management as their needs are highly met (Bell,
Menguc, & Stefani, 2004). Their frequent need fulfilment allows them to feel happy in performing their jobs, therefore enhances their responsiveness and effectiveness in satisfying
customers’ demands (Rafiq & Ahmed, 2000). Former research has also showed empirical
evidence that internal marketing is positively relevant to customer orientation of salespeople (Huang & Chen, 2013; Yusuf et al., 2014; Zaman et al., 2012). As a consequence, we
propose:
H1: Internal marketing positively influences salesperson’s performance of customer-oriented
selling behavior.

Under the light of social exchange theory, when employees receive favourable treatment
from organisations like information resources resulted from internal communication, they
exhibit a desire to reciprocate favours toward their organisations (Cropanzano & Mitchell,
2005). Meanwhile, internal marketing helps to satisfy employees’ demands through the creation of harmonious exchanges between employees and organisations (Gounaris, 2006).
Exhibiting relational selling behaviours towards customers is one way of reciprocating to
the organisation because it helps to yield high and long-term profitability for the organisation (Bayaa et al., 2009) which is critical for the economic survival and success of most
service firms nowadays (Heskett, Thomas, Loveman, Sasser, & Schlesinger, 1994). Furthermore, with smooth communication, internal marketing enables salespeople to be
clear about management’s desires and pursuits; therefore, they are more likely to exhibit
relational selling behaviours since nowadays’ firms tend to emphasise building and sustaining relationships with customers (Marshall & Johnston, 2015). Hence, we propose:
H2: Internal marketing positively influences salesperson’s performance of relational selling
behaviour.


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J.H. Park and T.B.H. Tran

2.2. Employee relationship marketing behaviours and relationship quality
Relationship quality refers to customer’s overall assessment of the strength of the interpersonal relationship with the contact person (Macintosh, 2007). Many studies have treated
relationship quality as a two-dimension construct of satisfaction and trust (Crosby et al.,
1990; Macintosh, 2007; Parsons, 2002). Some studies stressed trust alone as a critical construct of relational exchanges (Doney & Cannon, 1997; Sirdeshmukh, Singh, & Sabol,
2002). A considerable number of studies suggested commitment as a significant dimension
of relationship quality (De Wulf et al., 2001; Dorsch, Swanson, & Kelley, 1998; HennigThurau et al., 2002; Palmatier, Dant, Grewal, & Evans, 2006; Wang, Liang, & Wu, 2006).
Other studies evaluated relationship quality with two dimensions including trust and commitment because they are both keys to predicting exchange performance (Morgan & Hunt,
1994; Park et al., 2010). Relationship trust refers to customer’s confidence in the service
provider’s reliability and integrity (Morgan & Hunt, 1994) while relationship commitment
entails the willingness of customers to maintain the exchange relationship with the service
provider (De Wulf et al., 2001). The present study conceptualises relationship quality with
two dimensions of trust and commitment, such that in a high quality relationship, customer
is able to rely on the service supplier and committed to prolong the relationship with the
service provider.
Customer-oriented selling behaviours of salespeople may positively impact customers’
perceptions of relationship quality for three reasons. First, customer-oriented individuals
have a desire and ability to assess and meet customers’ needs (Stock & Hoyer, 2002)
while fulfilling customers’ needs is central to relationship success (Hennig-Thurau et al.,
2002). This is because customers are satisfied in their transaction with the salesperson
(Kidwell, McFarland, & Avila, 2007). Second, by providing adequate information about
products and services while minimising pressure selling to customers (Brown et al.,
2002), customer-oriented salespeople cultivate trust among customers which helps to
strengthen the relationship (Beatson, Lings, & Gudergan, 2008). Finally, customer-oriented
individuals have a desire for a long-term relationship with customers, so they may invest for
relationship quality (Stock & Hoyer, 2005). When customer-oriented individuals have an
expectation of future transactions with customers, they invest more in building long-term
relationships. Thus, we propose:
H3: Employees’ customer-oriented selling behavior positively influences customers’ perceived
relationship quality

The linkage between salesperson’s relational selling behaviour and customers’ perceived
relationship quality has been well documented in the marketing literature. Williams and
Attaway (1996) and Liu and Leach (2001) inserted that the buyer-seller relationship
quality improves as the salesperson’s relational behaviours directed toward the customer
increase. Likewise, Lin (2013) and Yu and Tseng (2016) found a positive relation
between service provider’s relational selling behaviour and customer relationship quality.
Crosby et al. (1990) reckoned that interaction intensity and mutual disclosure of information produce a strong buyer-seller bond. Similarly, Lagace, Dahlstrom, and Gassenheimer (1991) affirmed that frequent interaction can enhance mutual cooperation and improve
the relationship quality of both parties. Chow, Wei, and Wang (2004) found that interaction
intensity and mutual disclosure of information respectively impact customer satisfaction
and trust. Lai et al. (2013) found the positive influence of relational selling behaviour on
relationship trust and satisfaction. More recently, in a study on a large sample of
working professionals, Bateman and Valentine (2015) also discovered that relational


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7

selling behaviour could trigger increased customer trust in salesperson. Therefore, we
propose:
H4: Employees’ relational selling behaviour positively influences customers’ perceived
relationship quality.

2.3.

Employee relationship marketing behaviours as mediators

Internal marketing makes employees feel motivated and satisfied (Ahmed, Rafiq, &
Norizan, 2003; Bell et al., 2004; Gounaris, 2006). In accordance with social exchange
theory (Blau, 1964), they are likely to feel a voluntary obligation to reciprocate to the organisation by exhibiting relationship marketing behaviours to the organisation’s customers
because these behaviours are generally valued by customer-oriented organisations
(Bayaa et al., 2009). Employee performance of customer-oriented behaviour and relational
selling behaviour towards customers fosters customers’ trust and commitment to the
relationships with employees since their needs are satisfactorily met. This means that customers are more likely to perceive positive relationship quality with the contact employees.
In addition, internal marketing with affordable opportunities for training and effective communications (Rafiq & Ahmed, 2000) can enhance salespeople’s abilities to gather information of customer needs and to strengthen relationships with customers, and these
abilities may magnify the effectiveness of salespeople’s performance of productive behaviours (Roman & Iacobucci, 2010) like customer-oriented selling behaviour and relational
selling behaviour. To illustrate, Choi and Joung (2017) provided empirical evidence that
components of internal marketing including development and rewards are significantly conducive to employee engagement in customer oriented behaviour. When contact employees
exhibit such relationship marketing behaviours towards customers, they may instil customer trust to the employees because of customers’ perceived professionalism from the
employees. Following the above reasoning, we propose:
H5: Employees’ customer-oriented selling behaviour mediates the relationship between
internal marketing and customers’ perceived relationship quality.
H6: Employees’ relational selling behaviour mediates the relationship between internal marketing and customers’ perceived relationship quality.

2.4. Service climate as a moderator
Service climate refers to employee perceptions of the practices, procedures, and behaviours
that get rewarded, supported, and expected with regard to customer service and customer
service quality (Schneider et al., 1998). To put it simply, service climate entails the
shared sense employees in an organisation have, where policies, practices, and procedures,
and the expected and rewarded employee behaviours emphasise service excellence
(Bowen, Schneider, Donavan, & Licata, 2014). An organisation’s service climate is
strong when its employees perceive that they are favourably rewarded for delivering
quality service or when they have perceptions that customer service is a big concern for
management. Schneider et al. (1998) examined service climate in relation to foundation
issues of the organisation. The study concluded that climate for service rests on the foundation issues, but foundation issues of the organisation are not sufficient for begetting
service climate. Rather, service climate requires policies and practices that focus attention
directly on service quality (Schneider et al., 1998).
Internal marketing with proper attention to salespeople’s needs may satisfy them in their
jobs, thus motivating them to perform customer-oriented selling behaviour. Under a climate


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J.H. Park and T.B.H. Tran

with a high concern about service quality, they may exhibit customer-oriented selling behaviour more frequently because of two main reasons. First, in accordance with social cognitive theory’s postulate, in an environment in which customer service is a concern and a
rewarded behaviour, salespeople expose to opportunities to observe and learn to provide
satisfactory services to customers from other colleagues. As a result, they may engage
more in customer-oriented selling behaviours to satisfy the customers. Menguc, Auh, Katsikeas, and Jung (2016) purported that strong service climates evoke similar behavioural
responses among service employees. Linuesa-Langreo, Ruiz-Palomino, and Elche-Hortelano (2017) purported that employees usually tend to adapt their attitudes and behaviours
according to what they perceive in the work environment. Second, in a strong service
climate, employees have shared perceptions of management’s concern about customer
service quality (Bowen et al., 2014). Therefore, they likely strive for satisfying customers’
demands in order to provide better service quality to customers and thus meeting manager’s
expectations. This is because employees usually want to meet managers’ requirements and
concerns (Van Vianen, 2000). Bowen et al. (2014) added that in a high service climate,
employees are more likely to engage in customer-focused organisational citizenship behaviours. Previous studies provided supportive empirical evidence that in an environment in
which customer service is a focal point, salespeople tend to follow suit and perform extrarole service behaviours (Wang, 2012) and exhibit service behaviours towards customers
(Hong, Liao, Hu, & Jiang, 2013). Accordingly, we hypothesise:
H7: Service climate moderates the influence of internal marketing on employee customeroriented selling behaviour such that when service climate is high, internal marketing will
have more positive effects on employee customer-oriented selling behaviour than when
service climate is low.

With smooth communications and extensive fulfilment of employees’ needs, internal marketing engenders high quality social exchanges, therefore fostering employees’ performance of relational selling behaviours. A strong service climate may make this
phenomenon more pronounced for three main reasons. First, in a strong service climate,
employees are clear about manager’s concern about service quality to customers (Schneider
et al., 1998). While they want to reciprocate to the organisation thanks to satisfactory social
exchanges and benefits received from internal marketing, they may strive to satisfy manager’s concerns of service quality by being more tactful in interacting with customers
and investing in developing relationships with customers. Second, under a service
climate, employees perceive that they will be favourably rewarded if they deliver quality
service to customers (Bowen et al., 2014), so they may contact customers more often to
make customers more satisfied and disclose more information with customers to strengthen
relationships. This is because employees know that the customers who are satisfied in the
relationships may perceive higher service quality and have more understanding when a
service failure occurs (Reynolds & Arnold, 2000). Third, in a high service climate, the
number of employees who have job knowledge and skills to deliver high quality service
is higher (Schneider et al., 1998). In light of social cognitive theory, employees who are
inclined to repay the organisation with positive behaviours thanks to receiving favourable
treatment resulted from internal marketing may observe skills of other competent colleagues and so magnifying their skills in communicating with customers such as contacting,
sharing information, and maintaining relationships with customers. Linuesa-Langreo et al.
(2017) found that service climate makes a significant contribution in enhancing employees’
performance of positive service behaviours towards customers (e.g. relational selling).
Hence, we hypothesise:


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9

H8: Service climate moderates the influence of internal marketing on relational selling behaviour such that when service climate is high, internal marketing will have more positive effects
on employee relational selling behaviour than when service climate is low (Figure 1).

3. Research methodology
3.1. Data collection instruments and procedure
The study collected the data from 44 branches of four banking firms in Hanoi, the capital of
Vietnam. Initially, out of 31 commercial joint-stock banks in Hanoi, based on accessibility,
eight above-average-sized banking firms in terms of total assets were contacted for data collection. Four of these banks showed willingness to participate in the research. Then, of the
142 branches of these four banks in Hanoi, for two months, 44 branches were visited for
data collection. These banks were targeted for three main reasons. First, this study
focused on dyadic interactions between front-line employees and customers while this
feature is warranted in banking industry. Second, due to growing competition in the area
resulted from foreign banks’ entries, these banking firms tend to focus on practices for
motivating employees to satisfy customers like internal marketing. Third, the competitive
economic environment also forces these banking firms to pay attention to relationships
with customers. The study employed two separate questionnaires for salespeople and customers to collect data. The original items of these questionnaires were in English. These
items were translated into Vietnamese through a translation-back-translation process
between two professional translators. Then, two pilot tests were carried out on a total of
25 sets of respondents. The first pilot test involved ten pairs of banking employees and customers. These respondents were required to complete the questionnaires and give their comments on design, content, wording, and layout. Obscure or ambiguous items in the
questionnaires were revised under the consideration of customers’ provided inputs. After
considerable wording changes were made for clarity of the items, to check for the appropriateness of the modified items, the second pilot test was carried out on 15 dyads of
banking employees and customers. The answers obtained from the respondents suggested
that the measuring items were clear enough and appropriate for data collection.
The study targeted the frontline financial staff with tasks that accommodate timedemanding interactions with individual customers such as selling the bank’s products

Figure 1. The research model.


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J.H. Park and T.B.H. Tran

and services, providing personal financial consultancy, and handling with customer account
related inquiries and inquiries for loans. In the commercial joint stock banks, these tasks are
carried out by customer service officers, personal financial consultants, and/or customer
relationship officers. These services were selected because they offer ample opportunities
for customers to have long interactions with employees, which enable customers to evaluate
employee behaviours and relationships with employees better. Moreover, employees who
deliver these services are encouraged to be attentive to customer needs and developing
relationships with customers, so they likely have prior experience in performing customer-oriented selling behaviour and relational selling behaviour towards customers.
The questionnaires were distributed in person to dyads of the financial staff and the customers during un-peak time. The respondents completed the questionnaires after their transactions. During answering processes, a research assistant who was knowledgeable about the
research purposes, design, and details of measuring items, was available to offer help. Each
pair of questionnaires collected from each dyad was then treated as a unit for data entry. Of
the 287 pairs of questionnaires collected, 17 questionnaires were dropped due to missing or
incorrect answers. 24 questionnaires with customers’ bank usage of less than six months
were excluded because six months is too short for customers to evaluate employees’
relationship selling behaviour and relationship quality with employees. Eventually, 246
valid questionnaires were used for data analysis. Then, the data were analyzed using
descriptive analysis, factor analysis, and structural equation. SPSS and Amos were used
to conduct these analyses.
3.2.

Profile of respondents

The number of the dyads with valid responses was 246, including 246 individual employees
paired with 246 customers. As for salesperson respondents, 71% were female. A large
number of employees (72%) were in the age group of 25–39 years. 72% had a bachelor’s
degree as their highest level of education while 28% had a master degree. 44% of the respondents had the tenure of 2–5 years in their current organisations. Followed were the group with
the tenure of more than five years (28%) and the group of 1–2 year tenure (20%). Concerning
customer respondents, 62% were female. 66% were in the age of 25–39. Followed is the
group of 40–60 years of age (22%). 44% had bachelor’s degrees while 35% had their qualification of under-bachelor. 19% had a master degree. 51% used the banks from 13 to 24
months. 34% used the banks for more than 24 months. 24% have known their financial
staff for less than six months and 26% have known their staff from six months to 12
months. 30% have known the financial staff from 13 to 24 months. Only 20% of the customers have known their financial staff for more than 24 months.
3.3. Measures
Internal marketing was measured with eight items (α = .871) evaluating training, internal
communication, empowerment, and management support. These items were synthesised
from prior research (Altarifi, 2014; Chang et al., 2012; Keller et al., 2006; Lings & Greenley, 2005). Service climate was measured with seven items of the global service climate
scale (α = .938) adapted from Schneider et al. (1998). Customer-oriented selling behaviour
was measured with six items (α = .871), adapted from Stock and Hoyer (2005). Scale of
relational selling behaviour was taken from Lin (2012), consisting of eleven items (α
= .915) to measure interaction intensity and mutual disclosure of information. Relationship
quality was measured with 8 items (α = .919) covering two dimensions including trust and


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11

commitment. These items were adapted from Hsieh and Hiang (2004) and Chen, Yen, Rajkumar, and Tomochko (2011). Each item of service climate was rated on a five-point
Likert-type scale with response options ranging from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). Meanwhile,
items of the other constructs were rated on a Likert scale of five items with 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) (Appendix).
3.4. Assessment of common method variance
Common method bias was assessed using Harman’s single factor test for all items. The
results suggest that no general factor emerged to account for the majority of the variance.
An unrotated factor analysis extracted five distinct factors that accounted for 62% of the
total variance. The largest factor explained 27% of the variance. Therefore, common
method variance did not affect this analysis. In addition, variance inflation factors (VIF)
were calculated to check for multi-collinearity. VIF values ranged from 1.070 to 1.467,
indicating that multi-collinearity issues did not affect this analysis.
4.

Results

The reliability of the constructs was tested by using Cronbach’s alpha value analysis. The
Cronbach’s alpha values of the constructs ranged from .871 to .938, indicating adequate
internal consistency of the measures. The study conducted factor analysis to test discriminant validity. The extraction method was principal component analysis. Five factors
emerged with Eigenvalues greater than 1, accounting for 62% of the variance. Each item
loaded on its appropriate factor with no significant cross-loading. All factor loadings
higher than .60 were retained for further data analysis. One item of relational selling behaviour was deleted due to its low loading. The results show the acceptable discriminant validity for the constructs (Hair, Anderson, Tatham, & Black, 1998). All of the variables have
the average variance extracted (AVE) values of above .50, except internal marketing (.46),
and the composite reliability of all constructs are higher than .80. According to Fornell and
Larcker (1981), if the AVE is less than .50, but its composite reliability value is higher than
.60, the convergent validity of the construct is still adequate. The composite reliability value
of internal marketing is .87, suggesting the construct’s convergent validity. Customeroriented selling behaviour has the highest mean (3.9) while relational selling behaviour
receives the lowest mean value (3.6). Most of the constructs have significant correlations.
Though customer-oriented selling behaviour and relational selling behaviour have a relatively high correlation (.502), the result of Chi-square difference test suggests discriminant
validity between the two variables as χ2 of the unconstrained model is significantly lower
than that of the constrained model – model with the correlation parameter between the two
constructs of 1.0, (χ2d(1) = 670.981–191.646 = 479.335; p = .000) (Table 1).
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was carried out with Amos programme. After one
item of relational selling behaviour (item 11) was deleted due to its low loading, the model’s
fit indices with χ2 of 790.454, df of 650, χ2/df of 1.216, GFI (goodness of fit index) of .864,
IFI (incremental fit index) of .978, TLI (Tucker-lewis index) of .976, CFI (comparative fit
index) of .978, RMSEA (root mean square error of approximation) of .030 suggest a good
model fit. Then, the study used Amos to conduct structural equation modelling. To obtain
the interaction term for the model, items of internal marketing and service climate were
mean-centered and then multiplied. This helps to reduce multicollinearity between the
main effects and the interaction term (internal marketing × service climate) and also to
increase the interpretability of the beta-weights for interaction term. The model fit


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J.H. Park and T.B.H. Tran

Table 1. Descriptive statistics and correlations for all variables.
Variables

Means

STD. Devia.

1. Internal marketing
2. Service climate
3.Customer-oriented behaviour
4. Relational selling behaviour
5. Relationship quality

3.850
3.622
3.882
3.602
3.604

.492
.463
.490
.471
.503

1

2

3

4

5

.871
.130*
.391**
.337**
.222**

.938
.224**
.217**
.259**

.871
.502**
.250**

.915
.244**

.919

Note: N = 246; The numbers in the diagonal are the Cronbach’s α reliability coefficients.
**p < .01.

indices demonstrated a good model fit. Precisely, χ2/df has the value of 1.291, satisfying
Hair et al.’s (1998) suggested criterion of 3:1. GFI is .831, and AGFI is .812, meeting
the suggested threshold values of above .80 for an acceptable model (Doll, Xia, & Torkzadeh, 1994; MacCallum & Hong, 1997). Several other indices of the model contributively
suggest a good fit including CFI = .960; IFI = .960; TLI = .957; RMSEA = .034.
Table 2 displays that internal marketing is significantly related to employee customeroriented selling behaviour (β = .529; p < .001) and relational selling behaviour (β = .359;
p < .001), so Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 2 were supported. Employee customer-oriented
selling behaviour and relational selling behaviour are significantly associated to customer
perceived relationship quality with the coeffiecient values of . 144 (p < .05) and .263
(p < .01), respectively, therefore confirming Hypothesis 3 and Hypothesis 4. Service
climate significantly moderates the influence of internal marketing on salesperson customer-oriented selling behaviour (β = .155; p < .01), which supported Hypotheis 7. Conversely, service climate did not serve as a significant moderator for salesperson relational
selling behaviour (β = .052; p > .05), so Hypothesis 8 was not supported.
To test the mediating effects of salesperson relationship marketing behaviours, the
study used Amos to conduct bootstrapping tests with the bootstrap sample of 5000. Two
separate mediation analyses pertinent to two types of relationship marketing behaviours
were performed. Results showed that customer-oriented selling behaviour and relational
selling behaviour play significant partial or complimentary mediating roles between internal
marketing and customer perceived relationship quality. This conclusion is reached because
both the indirect effects and direct effects are statistically significant and point at the same
positive directions (Zhao, Lynch, & Chen, 2010). The coefficient of the indirect effect of
internal marketing on customer perceived relationship quality through employee customer-oriented selling behaviour is .124 (p < .001), and that through employee relational
selling behaviour is .124 (p < .001).
To confirm the mediating effects, the study ran the mediation models using PROCESS
Macro in SPSS. Two mediation models for customer-oriented selling behaviour and relational selling behaviour, respectively, were tested. The results indicated that the indirect
effect of internal marketing on relationship quality through customer-oriented selling behaviour is .077 with a 95% CI: .024 to .139, and this effect is statistically significant
since the 95% CI does not include zero. Likewise, the indirect effect of internal marketing
on relationship quality through relational selling behaviour is .087 with a 95% CI: .036 to
.154, and the effect is significant. Despite being slightly different in magnitude of the
effects, these two obtained results were consistent with those generated from the bootstrapping tests, therefore confirming the significant mediating role of employee relationship marketing behaviours. Then, to further explore about the mediating effects, the study ran two
moderated mediation models in PROCESS for two types of employee relationship


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Table 2. Estimates from the structural models.
Direct effects
Internal marketing → Customer-oriented selling
behaviour (H1)
Internal marketing → Relational selling behaviour (H2)
Customer-oriented selling behaviour → Relationship
quality (H3)
Relational selling behaviour → Relationship quality (H4)
Moderating effects
Internal marketing × Service climate → Customeroriented selling behaviour (H7)
Internal marketing × Service climate → Relational selling
behaviour (H8)
Mediating effects

Coefficients

T-values

Outcomes

.529***

6.086

supported

.359***
.144*

5.038
2.081

supported
supported

.263**

2.940

supported

T-values

Outcomes

.155***

3.582

supported

.052n.s

1.564

rejected

Coefficients

Indirect

Direct

Coefficients

Type of
mediation

Internal marketing → Customer-oriented selling
.124***
.290*** Partial
behaviour → Relationship quality (H5)
mediation
Internal marketing → Relational selling behaviour →
.124***
Partial
Relationship quality (H6)
mediation
χ2 = 1257.175 (df = 974, p < 0.000); RMR = 0.032; GFI = 0.831; CFI = 0.960; RMSEA = 0.034; IFI =
0.960; TLI= 0.957.
*p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001.

marketing behaviours. The results showed that the strength of the indirect effect of internal
marketing on relationship quality through customer-oriented selling behaviour is significantly affected by level of service climate (β = .080; 95% CI: .018 to .181). In contrast,
the strength of the indirect effect through relational selling behavour is not significantly
affected by level of service climate (β = .033; 95% CI: −.011 to .096).
To better understand the nature of the significant interaction, the simple slope of service
climate on customer-oriented selling behaviour was graphed. As shown in Figure 2, the
positive relationships between internal marketing and customer-oriented selling behaviour
were stronger in a higher service climate.

5. Discussion
5.1. Conclusions
The study’s finding of the positive relationship between internal marketing and employee
relationship marketing behaviours is consistent with prior studies’ results that practice of
internal marketing is conducive to employees’ engagement in positive behaviours such
as organisational citizenship behaviours (Alshurideh, Alhadid, & Barween, 2015; Chang
et al., 2012) and pro-social behaviours (Dalvi & Vahidi, 2013). However, from internal
marketing research angle, this study’s dedication to salesperson’s relationship marketing
behaviours upgrades the literature such that it attended to employee behaviours directed
at customers, rather than extra-role behaviours towards other internal organisational
members (Chang et al., 2012) and it captures organisation’s current and increasing emphasis on customer relationships (Marshall & Johnston, 2015).


14

J.H. Park and T.B.H. Tran

Figure 2. Moderating role of service climate in the relationship between internal marketing and customer-oriented selling behaviour.

The study suggested that internal marketing is conducive to relationship quality through
employees’ engagement into relationship marketing behaviours. This finding adds a meaningful insight into the effect of internal marketing such that internal marketing is not only
relevant to customer perceived service quality like prior studies proved, but it is also effective for customer perceived relationship quality with service providers. A dedication to
relationship quality is appropriate because organisations increasingly emphasise relationship marketing for their prosperity. Moreover, if internal marketing is known as a
process for creating changes for organisations (Rafiq & Ahmed, 2000), which entails
long-term orientation of the organisations, then an evaluation of relationship quality is harmonious with internal marketing because relationship marketing is also dedicated to long
run. The finding of the significant mediating role of relationship marketing behaviours provides a valuable extension to the internal marketing research. Specifically, apart from prior
studies’ proposed psychological or attitudinal mechanisms (Altarifi, 2014; Bailey et al.,
2016), behavioural mechanisms, particularly relationship marketing behaviours, are
remarkably influential.
The finding of the moderating role of service climate for employee customer-oriented
selling behaviour concurs with Schwepker’s (2003) and Schneider and Bowen’s (1985) recognition that service climate influences employees’ customer orientation. The finding is
also congruent with Wang’s (2012) empirical evidence of the moderating role of service
climate in the effect of organisational supports on employees’ involvement in pro-social
behaviours. Obviously, in an organisation where both internal marketing and service
climate are strong, employees are more likely to perform customer-oriented selling behaviour. This observation is in line with Burke et al.’s (1992) recognition of the role of two
factors (a concern for employees and a concern for customers) in shaping employees’ perception of work environment which in turn affect their behaviours. It also supports Jacoby
and Chestnut’s (1978) proposition that companies need to focus not only on external customer needs and desires in order to attract them but also need to pay attention to satisfying
internal customer needs so as to create long-term and quality relationships with the current
customers.
However, the present study found that service climate does not play a significant moderating role for employee relational selling behaviour. We believe that the non-significant
effect may due, in part, to our employed measure of service climate such that it merely
centred on provision of service quality for transactional encounters while neglecting


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15

interpersonal factors. According to Boles et al. (2000) and Crosby et al. (1990), customeroriented selling behaviour entails selling activities during buyer-seller interactions;
whereas, relational selling behaviour is about the selling tactics used during the interpersonal interactions. We believe that a climate with a strong focus on customer services is an
influential environment to enhance salespeople’s engagement in behaviours to meet the
needs of the customers during their interactions. However, for their performance of relational selling behaviours, an environment with a focus on relationship cultivation and
development may be more influential. A climate of relationship orientation or an orientation
to relational selling, rather than general concerns about customers’ services, may be a
potential candidate to affect salesperson relational selling behaviours. We suggest future
research delve into this phenomenon.
The present study confirmed a positive effect of internal marketing on customer perceived relationship quality through employee relationship marketing behaviours. We
believe that these findings are generalisable to banking industry in Vietnam and other
Asian emerging economies that share an increasingly competitive economic environment
in the area and the culture of high collectivism and high power distance (Nguyen,
Bryant, Rose, Tseng, & Kapasuwan, 2009) that may affect practices of internal marketing
like internal communication. Nonetheless, the strength of effect of internal marketing on
employee relationship marketing behaviours and customer perceived relationship quality
may be higher in other services industries like health (e.g. clinics), personal care (e.g.
hair salons), and restaurants in which customer personal needs are more viable, and customer perceived relationship quality with the contact employees has more direct impacts on
business survival.
5.2. Theoretical implications
The study has five main theoretical contributions. First, this is the very first study attending
to relationship quality, relationship marketing to a greater level, in relation to internal marketing; hence, it expands the literature of both domains. Concretely, the study paves the way
for future internal marketing works to attend to relationship quality and interactive marketing, akin to service quality that has been widely studied, to date. Likewise, the study opens
up a fertile ground for relationship quality studies to examine other organisational drivers
for relationship quality such as different activities of internal marketing. Second, the study
is early works to evaluate customer-oriented selling behaviour and relational selling behaviour as mediators between internal marketing and customer perceived relationship quality.
It, therefore, may arouse future research’s interest in behavioural mechanisms, particularly
behaviours directed at customers, apart from attitudinal mechanisms, between internal marketing and other customers-related outcomes. Third, as the pioneer in evaluating a specific
climate, namely service climate, as a moderator for relationship marketing behaviours, this
study might prompt future researchers to attend to other types of specific climate since multiple climates such as support, innovation, or safety may exist simultaneously within a
single organisation (Schwepker, 2003). For instance, ethical climate has been proved to
generate employees’ orientation towards customers (Schwepker, 2003). Fourth, the
study’s empirical confirmation validates social exchange theory and social cognitive
theory as powerful theories in explaining employee relationship marketing behaviours.
Future scholars may replicate our attempt to explain for impact of internal marketing and
other organisational climates on salesperson’s exhibition of other behaviours. Finally, the
study’s examination of Vietnamese context – an underexplored society of internal marketing research and salesperson’s behaviours offers valuable empirical evidence to the


16

J.H. Park and T.B.H. Tran

scholarly and practical field because the majority of internal marketing studies have been
conducted in Western contexts (Bruhn & Georgi, 2000).
5.3. Managerial implications
Foremost, managers should strategically execute internal marketing practices in their organisations by focusing on designing jobs with features that employees value (Rafiq & Ahmed,
2000). This requires an involvement of both marketing managers and human resource managers in job specifications. During the process of providing job products to employees,
managers need to be responsive to employees’ requests and questions, show willingness
to help them, provide them with ample opportunities for education and training (Ahmed
& Rafiq, 2003), and offer employees timely and encouraging feedbacks (Rafiq &
Ahmed, 1993). Second, managers need to channel a proper emphasis on development
and effective performance of relationship marketing behaviours. They should clearly
stress their appreciation for employees’ customer oriented behaviours and relational
selling behaviours so that their employees strive for these behaviours. Also, provision of
the appropriate level of training with a focus on customer and relationship orientation
will allow for employees’ effective engagement in relationship marketing behaviours. Furthermore, it is necessary to devise progressive reward systems that reflect clear criteria pertaining to satisfying customers and promoting relationships with customers in order to
motivate employees to produce these behaviours. Managers also need to allow a proper
degree of discretion to service employees which instils stronger confidence in them to
involve in meeting customers’ personal needs. . Third, it is vital for managers and organisation to cultivate and promote a strong service climate. They can stress the importance
of service quality so that everyone should pursue for it (Marshall & Johnston, 2015). Managers also need to design and track all the practices and procedures to guarantee that the best
quality is achieved (Schneider et al., 1998). Using proper rewards to praise and compensate
for employees who achieve successes related to high service quality is helpful to enhance
employees’ perceptions of service climate (Wang, 2012). Importantly, managers are also
encouraged to simultaneously focus on both execution of internal marketing practices
and orientation to customer service quality so as to optimise employees’ motivations in
their jobs.
5.4.

Limitations and future research directions

The study has three main limitations. First, as a cross-sectional study, it is restricted from
inference of causality of the relationships. Future studies should conduct longitudinal
research to investigate whether adoption of internal marketing causes higher levels of
employee engagement in relationship marketing behaviours and whether employee
relationship marketing behaviours cause stronger customer perception of relationship
quality. Second, since our sample only involved dyadic interactions between salespeople
and customers of banking firms in Vietnamese context, its generalizability of the findings
is limited. Specifically, the study’s findings cannot be generalised to other industries in
Vietnamese contexts with discrepant competition levels or Western economies with
different cultural characteristics like high individualism and low power distance
(Nguyen et al., 2009). We suggest future research use larger samples of various industries. Desirably, future scholars may conduct cross-cultural studies to gain a comparative
insight into the relationships. Finally, the study’s adapted measure of service climate
without interpersonal elements may be the reason for its non-significant moderating


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17

effect for employee relational selling behaviour. Future research should develop a new
measure that includes an evaluation of interpersonal transactions to retest the effect
and compare with that of this study.
When investigating selling behaviours pertaining to customer orientation, researchers
evaluated SOCO which is operationalised as two inversely related but distinct dimensions:
customer orientation versus selling orientation (Saxe & Weitz, 1982). This study excluded
selling orientation because it merely centred on the positive mechanisms for customers to
perceive higher relationship quality while selling orientation entails high pressure to customers (Saxe & Weitz, 1982). Nonetheless, future research is encouraged to include both
dimensions in examining salesperson selling behaviours so as to gain a better insight
into the phenomenon. For a deeper insight into the effect of internal marketing, future
studies are encouraged to explore the differential influences of different dimensions of
internal marketing on employee behaviours. Additionally, since our study measured
employee relationship marketing behaviours as perceived by customers, future research
may measure relationship marketing behaviours by using employee self-rated measures
and then compare the results with the present study. Moreover, while services marketing
triangle suggests that internal marketing influences interactive marketing or relationship
marketing which in turn affects external marketing with customers’ responses to companies
(Opoku et al., 2014), adding ultimate external marketing outcomes such as realised sales or
customer relationship continuity in the chain effect of internal marketing on employee behaviours and customer perceived relationship quality can be a fertile ground for future studies.

Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

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Appendix A: Measuring items
Items

Loadings AVE

C.R

Internal marketing (Altarifi, 2014;Chang et al., 2012;Keller et al., 2006;Lings & Greenley, 2005)
1. My supervisors and coworkers go beyond training and educate me as
.640
0.46 0.87
well.
2. My supervisors and coworkers prepare for me to perform well.
.683
3. My supervisors and coworkers make regularly scheduled time for us to
.652
talk.
4. My supervisors and coworkers have established a time schedule to give
.669
me the information that I need.
5. My supervisors and coworkers encourage me to use my own discretion
.604
to make decisions.
6. My supervisors and coworkers are responsive to my needs in my jobs.
.648
7. My supervisors and coworkers let me know that they are always
.730
available to help me.
8. My supervisors and coworkers inform me of good outcomes that affect
.784
me.
Service climate (Schneider et al., 1998)
How do you rate the following issues in your bank:
1. The job knowledge and skills of employees to deliver superior quality
.959
0.66 0.93
service?
2. Efforts to measure and track the quality of the service?
.865
3. The recognition and rewards that employees receive for the delivery of
.689
superior service?
.734
4. The leadership shown by management in supporting the service quality
effort?
.884
5. The effectiveness of communications efforts about service quality to
both employees and customers?
6. The tools, technology, and other resources provided to employees to
.691
support the delivery of superior quality service?
7. The overall quality of service provided by your bank?
.811
Customer-oriented selling behaviour (Stock & Hoyer, 2005)
1. My financial staff tries to get us to discuss our needs with him/her.
.838
0.54 0.87
2. My financial staff tries to help us achieve our goals.
.882
3. My financial staff answers our questions about products and services as
.722
correctly as he/she can.
4. My financial staff tries to influence us by information rather than by
.712
pressure.
5. My financial staff tries to give us an accurate expectation of what the
.629
product/service will do for us.
6. My financial staff is willing to disagree with us in order for us to make a
.574
better decision.
Relational selling behaviour (Lin, 2012)
1. My financial staff keeps in touch with me.
.676
0.58 0.92
2. My financial staff would tell me whether I need to change the products/
.941
services that I initially selected.
3. My financial staff would explain why I need to have this kind of
.925
products/services.
Deleted
4. My financial staff would mail me birthday (holiday) cards or gifts.
5. My financial staff would tell me new information or new products/
.939
services.
6. My financial staff would tell me a lot about his/her financial situation.
.573
7.My financial staff would tell me a lot about his/her financial goal.
.634
.629
(Continued)


Total Quality Management & Business Excellence

23

Loadings AVE

C.R

Continued.
Items
8. My financial staff would tell me a lot about his/her growth background or
family situation.
9. My financial staff would tell me a lot about what he/she likes or dislikes.
10. My financial staff would tell me a lot about his/her values or religious
beliefs.
11. My financial staff would tell me his/her wrong decisions before.
Relationship quality (Hsieh & Hiang, 2004;Chen et al., 2011)
1. My financial staff can be relied upon to keep promises
2. My financial staff is trustworthy.
3. I have full confidence in my financial staff.
4. If my financial staff is criticised, I would defend for him/her.
5. I am searching other financial staff for substituting for my financial staff.
(R)
6. If my financial staff makes a mistake, I am willing to forgive him/her.
7. I am willing to use the services that my financial staff provides in the
future.
8. If other financial staff provide better services, my financial staff would be
replaced. (R)

.814
.587
Deleted
.692
.689
.664
.877
.920
.834
.846
.644

0.60

0.92



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