Enabling promise delivery : the influence of internal marketing communication : a collective case study within the New Zealand Retail Electricity Sector : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Massey University
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This study explored how organisations in the retail electricity sector in New Zealand communicated their brand promises and associated marketing programmes to internal stakeholders, and with what effect, in order to enable employees to deliver on promises made. On the basis that keeping promises is a valuable marketing and organisational outcome, there is considerable value for organisations to understand the role of communication in informing employees of those promises, and identifying how enabled they are in fulfilling those same promises. Four New Zealand electricity companies participated in a collective case study that included archival data and semi-structured interviews with senior managers, operational managers, marketing, and human resources personnel. Using a mixed-methods approach, thematic analysis of the interviews and a further review of the literature were used to develop an internal marketing (IM) communication survey. The self-completion questionnaire was distributed electronically to all staff within the retail divisions of each electricity company. This study makes a contribution to the field of IM by providing empirical evidence of the influence of internal communication in enabling employees to deliver on the organisation’s service promises to customers. The research reveals factors that influence channel effectiveness, demonstrates the importance of collegial relationships in organisational feedback, and assesses the significance of values commitment on employee perceptions of their company’s ability to deliver on its promises. The findings are presented in an IM communication framework that exemplifies the relationship between the outcomes of IM communication and the extant literature on promise enablement.
Electric power, Electric utilities, Retail electricity sector, Communication in personnel management, Employee motivation, Marketing, New Zealand