Developing a framework for marketing the services of an industrial scientific professional organisation : an examination of the market leader : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Studies in Marketing at Massey University
The aim of the thesis was to develop a framework to assist in the marketing planning of scientific and industrial professional organisations. The government policy to restructure the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) into Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) provided the impetus for this research. For the purposes of this study two samples were drawn from the scientific and industrial research industry. Employees from all levels and disciplines within the DSIR (n=19) were interviewed, followed by clients of the industry (n=26). The interviews aimed to gain respondents opinions and perceptions of the profession, marketing, the DSIR, and the changing environment. Therefore, a qualitative semi-structure interview format was deemed appropriate. The findings of this study revealed that clients in the industry were dedicated to the advancement of scientific and industrial knowledge for business in New Zealand. However, the respondents perceived that it is the role of the government to fund pure research, and assist in the funding of commercial result oriented research. Resulting from the government policy, it is now imperative for the DSIR to seek commercial funding. This government policy inhibits the development of long-term relationships between the DSIR and industry. Thus, gaining greater revenue from industry is problematic for the DSIR. This study also revealed that both the DSIR employees and industry clients were optimistic about the impending changes to the business environment. This optimism was however, contingent on the change to CRIs to be the last major change resulting from government policy. Although the respondents were optimistic it was implicit from the interviews that they were unsure of appropriate business planning and strategies in the changing environment. These findings suggest the need for marketing strategies to include education and communication elements internally to the professional organisation and subsequently externally to clients within the industry. The major outcome of the study has been the development of a framework to assist this market planning.