New Mindsets for Service-Orientated Marketing: Understanding the Role of Emotions in Interpersonal Relationships
Over the past 40 years, the marketing discipline has evolved significantly, which becomes evident in the current marketing discussion in relation to a service-logic. Marketing scholars are now referring to goods-logic concepts (e.g. marketing mix), transitional concepts (e.g. relationship marketing) and service-logic concepts (e.g. service-dominant logic). The development towards a more service-orientated marketing perspective created, among others, scholarly interest towards understanding the consequences of this development for the employees of a company. The service-logic in marketing is strongly related to an understanding of the marketplace from a network and systems perspective. Network and system analogies support the analysis of external marketing relationships between business actors, which have consequently been described as interconnected, dynamic, complex and multilateral. Scholars, who are concerned with the consequences of this development inside the firm, claimed the need for an internal marketing strategy and pointed out the importance of marketing-like attitudes for every employee. Thus, the customer-conscious and sales-minded employee, or part-time marketer, has evolved. Service marketing scholars have argued that the service movement in marketing requires a new mindset. However, the conceptualization or specification of such a mindset has been largely neglected. A brief examination of the current dominant mindset leads to the conclusion that an understanding of business relationships is mainly based on a rational, static, unilateral, and fragmented perspective of the world, and relationships in particular. This study aims to understand if the current, dominant rational mindset supports attitudes and behaviours, which have been implied by the development towards a more service-orientated marketing. The primary scope of this study is the internal, or interpersonal, marketing interaction between part-time marketers within a firm, based on a relational understanding of external marketing relationships. The study has found a reactive emotional understanding among the participants in relation to interpersonal interactions, which allows the conceptualization of an internal marketing perspective with relevance to a network and systems understanding of marketing. However, a reactive emotional understanding of interpersonal business relationships does not support an external marketing perspective, which originates in a network and systems understanding of marketing. The conceptualization of a reactive emotional understanding contributes to behaviours and attitudes in marketing by highlighting how customer-conscious and sales-minded behaviours and attitudes are related to an interconnected, dynamic and complex perspective of the world. This study suggests that emotions and their understanding in relation to marketing relationships and interactions play an essential role in developing more service-oriented behaviours and attitudes in internal marketing. This research further outlines that the current understanding of emotions is related to a worldview, which does not favour customer-consciousness and sales-mindedness. In addition, the conceptualization of an emotional understanding legitimizes the idea that marketing is more that just a departmental function, or interface between firm and customer. This thesis concludes that an emotional understanding, based on a service-marketing logic, is a binding element to understand internal relationships with relevance to a holistic marketing perspective.
Advisor: Gnoth, Juergen; Biggemann, Sergio
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Department of Marketing
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Service; Relational Marketing; Worldview; Emotions
Research Type: Thesis