Internal marketing

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Analysis

This chapter presents the analysis of the empirical findings based of the theoretical framework.

Corporate Identity

When looking at the corporate identity of Riksbyggen, it can be seen that Riksbyggen strive to send out an identity that stands for an attractive environment to work and develop. This can be seen in the three words that have been chosen to represent the company; security, long-sightedness and collaboration . The words can be connected to the definition of corporate identity found by Markwick and Fill (1997) and make up characteristics that define the company. When Riksbyggen say that the company wants to “create room for life” it is some-thing that goes for the employees as well. All the employees that were interviewed said that they felt like Riksbyggen was a company that you would like to stay with for a long time.

Balmer’s Affinity Audit

Riksbyggen can be seen to adapt the Balmer‟s Affinity Audit (BAA) (Balmer & Van Riel,1997): Establish the corporate mission and strategy. Riksbyggen have a clear vision of what the company want to be able to offer the employees. This can be found in the three value base words; security, long-sightedness and collaboration. Based on the history of the company, as owned by its members, this serves as guidelines about how the company should be run. Reveal the dominant systems of values and beliefs within the organization. Once the keywords have been selected, Riksbyggen have worked to incorporate them into the everyday work. This was something that could be seen during the in-terviews where all the employees interviewed felt like they had a good understand-ing of what Riksbyggen stands for. Evaluate such systems of values and beliefs against the corporate mission and strategy. As mentioned, Riksbyggen have based the keywords on their history as a company that is owned by its members. Based on that tradition, Riksbyggen took help from a communications bureau to find three words that would fit with the overall mission and strategy of the company. Nurture those values and beliefs which support the corporate mission and strategy. According to Göran Krona, every new employee gets a welcome pack with the audio book with the stories along with information about the company. This is done to make sure that the employee quickly gets an understanding about the company and its beliefs. By doing this Riksbyggen ensure that the employees get a feeling about what values that the company stands for. It is an important step in the process of creating the corporate identity that is desired. Altogether, looking at the BAA (Balmer & Van Riel, 1997), it can be seen that Riksbyggen have done well in applying all the four steps. By doing so the company have ensure that there is a greater chance of the obtaining a corporate identity that is attractive and unique. This is something that is evident among the employees as well, all the employees that were interviewed were satisfied with their position at Riksbyggen and felt that it is a company that cares about them (personal communications, 2009-09-08; 2009-11-12 & 2009-11-13).

Changes in Corporate Identity

Since Riksbyggen was managed in a somewhat hierarchal way for over 19 years and only had the current CEO for about four years, it will take time to adjust to the new ways of reign. This is in agreement with Whetten (2006) who claims that corporate identity might sometime work as resistance to change. In a company like Riksbyggen where many people have worked for a very long time switching to a new way of doing things might cause an-xiety and create resistance among those who are used to do it in a certain way and have been doing so for a long time. This was something that was partly confirmed by Göran Krona, who agreed that it takes a long time to turn such a big company around. Employee Tommy Juhlin, who has been with the company for 44 years, said that he was not entirely positive to the changes. He did not mind the all the technical innovations of today, but said that he missed the personal aspect of it all. Previously, if you needed something you would just walk to that person and talk to them, now almost everything is done by e-mail. That was the part that Juhlin missed at the workplace today (T. Juhlin, personal communication, 2009-09-08). iksbyggen is also in a situation where a lot of the staff will retire within a few years leaving the company with the need to quickly fill the vacant places. In a situation like this it is cru-cial to have a functioning corporate identity as it is what the company will offer the poten-tial employees.

Seven Dimensions of Corporate Identity

When looking at the seven dimensions of corporate identity that is presented by Melewar and Karaosmanoglu (2006) it can be seen that the history does affect the corporate beha-vior. The history of Riksbyggen, with all the stories has affected the mission, vision and values of the company. This has in turn led to the behavior of the company as it is today. This concerns the behavior of the company, the management and the employees. At Riks-byggen much of the identity that the company desires has rubbed off on the employees. Even if they did not know all of the words, all claimed to know about it. An interesting as-pect is that when asked what Riksbyggen stood for according to them, almost all of the in-terviewees answered in a way that was coherent with what Krona wanted the company to stand for. The corporate culture also affects the corporate strategy. Riksbyggen have tried to position-ing themselves as a company that offers welfare for both the public, the customers, the employees and the owner. Part of that employee welfare is that employees have the chance to advance internally. They can also get money to take courses in almost anything, as long as it is not related to their work. All of this can be seen as corporate positioning. Riksbyg-gen positions themselves so that the company becomes an attractive employer by offering these extra bonuses. This is also a way of differentiate the company from its competitors. By offering this kind of extra activities and bonuses Riksbyggen can offer a workplace that hopefully is unique and attractive for its employees. Another sign that Riksbyggen have established the corporate identity in the daily work can be found in the quote: “I work a lot with the values, I think you have to in order to meet the customers in a good way” (P. Gustafsson, personal communication, 2009-11-12). Riksbyggen have worked hard to incorporate the desired identity into the foundation of the company. The value base that was developed this spring has given Riksbyggen a corporate design that seems attractive, given the interviews with the employees. Further, there are education days for the employees, where they get to go deeper into what Riksbyggen stands for and the core values of the company. The dimension of industry identity, affects Riksbyggen as well. For example, there is a gen-eral level of salaries that Riksbyggen must reach in order to even attract some potential employees. Riksbyggen must also consider the working conditions of the competitors‟ em-ployees. If the company cannot provide the same basic benefits as its competitors, it will become more difficult to attract new employees (G. Krona, personal communication, 2009-09-08). Riksbyggen wants to provide an identity where employees feel like they can work for a long time and at the same time develop their skills and advance career wise. This is something that the company has succeeded with, as all of the employees that were inter-viewed said that they felt that there were good possibilities to make career advancements within the company. Some of the employees had actually started at the lower levels of the company and worked their way up (T. Juhlin, personal communications, 2009-09-08; P. Gustafsson, 2009-11-12). It can be seen that Riksbyggen are working on the corporate communication which is another dimension presented by Melewar and Karaosmanoglu (2006). Riksbyggen are cur-rently working with a lector in storytelling to produce a 20 page book that is to summarize the whole history and provide a picture of the soul of the company. As this book will be handed out to all employees at the end of 2009, it will work as a tool of strengthening the corporate identity internally. Looking at the other dimensions in the model presented by Melewar and Karaosmanoglu (2006) it can clearly be seen that all the dimensions are connected in Riksbyggen. From the beginning of the company, the history and culture is present throughout the entire compa-ny.

Reputation and Image

It seems like Riksbyggen have a very good reputation among the employees. This is accord-ing to Markwick and Fill (1997) something that is very important. Riksbyggen have built a respectable reputation with its corporate identity and that is reflected in the attitudes among the employees. The image of the company, as defined by Markwick and Fill (1997), is also mostly positive among the employees. Although all of the employees admit that things are not perfect, they all feel like it is clear that Riksbyggen are working on improving those areas. This was con-firmed by Göran Krona who said that the image was of great importance for Riksbyggen. Further Riksbyggen want the image to stand for an open organization that will not just hire people, but also does care for them in all possible ways. Riksbyggen have understood the importance of the corporate identity, which was stressed by Balmer (2001). It is something that the company must work with on all levels, and it is something that is currently in the works. By developing the key words and the value base, Riksbyggen has started the transformation into a more open organization. Part of that work is to create a more open environment with a lot of information sharing. There are ongoing discussions about creating a platform where all news articles, both good and bad opinions, are published. According to Krona, the debate is whether to put up the negative feedback or not. He was of the opinion that Riksbyggen should be open with everything, and that posting the negative feedback might spur the employees on to improve in that area. This is also a question about credibility said Krona, a company that only puts up the positive feedback is not a credible company (personal communication, 2009-09-08). The image of Riksbyggen is in other words very important and the company wants to come off as an honest company that is not afraid to admit faults. Relating this to the image presented by Balmer (2001), it can be seen that Riksbyggen really does work with the image on many levels. It is not just a question about being open towards the customers, but also towards the employees. Like previously mentioned, the corporate identity is affected by so many things, as can be seen in the seven dimensions presented by Melewar and Karaosmanoglu (2006). When it comes to the communication to the stakeholders, presented by Balmer & Gray (1999) the most relevant way of direct communication in this thesis is the behavior towards the employees. Riksbyggen have created a various selection of tools to motivate the em-ployees at the workplace. Examples of these tools are the chances of advancing internally and the ability to get courses financed in their spare time. By providing this the employees will become happier in their workplace and perform better. If the employees are happy at their workplace, the chances of them performing at their best increases. This will lead to a greater employee behavior towards other stakeholders in the long run since the employees then provide the best possible solutions for the end customers Balmer & Gray (1999). Other factors that affect Riksbyggen are political factors. Included in the political factors is the corporate identity which includes the values and beliefs of the company, as well as the strategy, culture and structure (Balmer & Gray, 1999). This is absolutely critical for Riks-byggen to have control over and it is something that the company works hard to form in a positive way. In Riksbyggen this can be seen in the vision of the company; “Riksbyggen with its cooperative value-system, should be the leader in development of attractive living environments within con-dominiums” and in the value base word; “security, long-sightedness and collaboration”. The com-pany tries to match their strategy and corporate identity with the value base by trying to provide employments where employees want to stay for a long time and get the chance to develop their skills (G. Krona, personal communication, 2009-09-08).

Internal Marketing

Many organizations are still unaware of the concepts internal marketing, however most or-ganizations use parts of the activities featured in those concepts. Some activities are the re-sponsibility of the human resources department and some are carried out by communica-tion managers. There can also be a contradiction between the external marketing and the internal marketing if someone is not overlooking the two different marketing programs. There might not be as good results from an external marketing regime if the employees are not informed about e.g. a new campaign. It is also important that both the internal and ex-ternal audiences are fully aware of the organization‟s values and to make sure that both au-diences perceive the company in the same way. Otherwise the employees might communi-cate with their customers in a way that the customers find contradicting to what the exter-nal marketing is portraying. Berry and Parasuraman (1992) gave this definition of internal marketing ”attracting, develop-ing, motivating, and retaining qualified employees through job products that satisfy their needs” (cited in Varey & Lewis, 2000). As Riksbyggen will have to employ 1500 new employees within the next five years it is important that they can attract new employees as well as retain the em-ployees that are already employed. David Lewin researched 495 organizations and his conclusion was that organizations that invest in a bonus system that take the employee‟s work performance into account, share in-formation and encourage employees to go through training and allow them to develop have better financial results (cited in Ind, 2004). Motivation is important in order to retain employees as well ensure the best work perfor-mance possible. The sources of motivation that Riksbyggen use is the charity work that they do along with the focus on being environmentally sustainable (G. Krona, personal communication, 2009-09-08). This focus can send a message to the employees that they are working for a good organization worth to be proud of that helps other people as well as the environment. Other sources of motivation that will be presented more extensively in section 5.3 where the bonus system, funding for educations unrelated to work, good chances for internal training and the positive spirit at the work place.

Essentials of Internal Marketing

Offer a Vision

Without knowing the vision, values and goals of the organization one works for it is im-possible to know what to strive for. Riksbyggen have recently put much effort into the de-velopment of a new value base. Together with a communication bureau they developed three words to describe Riksbyggen‟s values. However the words were not just words that they came up with, all words were words that represented values present at Riksbyggen previously, however they had never been written down before. At the time for the inter-view, Riksbyggen were working together with a lector in storytelling that was writing down the history of Riksbyggen and the work would result in a 20 page book to be distributed to all employees by the end of 2009 (G. Krona, personal communication, 2009-09-08). All this is evidence that values are something that Riksbyggen thinks are important to work with and communicate to their employees. All of the interviewees said that even though values are not talked about, they can be no-ticed in the work environment. Although all of the values could not be repeated by all the employees, everyone had a good idea of what the organization stood for considering the new value base was introduced in spring of 2009. One thing that could be noticed was that values were not communicated to everyone in the company. Gustafsson started as a car-penter for the organization, only later when he became a seller did he receive information about the organization‟s values and vision (personal communication, 2009-11-12). This demonstrates that the values are not distributed to all employees. It seems that knowledge of the organization‟s values are only important amongst the employees working at an office and especially among those working as sellers and those having much customer contact. According to Grönroos (2007), internal marketing has to be implemented within the whole organization to fully work. By not communicating the organization‟s values to all employee groups there is a risk that they feel left out and less likely to stay long in the organization as it will be difficult for them to feel a connection to the organization without knowing the vi-sion, goals and values. Riksbyggen‟s vision is ”Riksbyggen with its cooperative value -system, should be the leader in develop-ment of attractive living environments within condominiums. We create room for life.” The vision of Riksbyggen were repeated by Gustafsson and Danling

Compete for Talent

As this thesis does not touch upon the recruitment process, this step of the model is not applicable.

Prepare People to Perform

At Riksbyggen‟s official web site, they cite ”At Riksbyggen you play a big part. We are not only in-terested in you as a competent co-worker, but also as a human. You as a person, your engagement and your interests are important for us.” (Riksbyggen, 2009). This shows that Riksbyggen wants their employees to feel satisfied at work and evolve as workers as well as humans. In order to retain their existing employees they have to use motivation and allowing them to develop. Riksbyggen are generous with allowing their employees to grow in their profes-sional role and they have good possibilities to advance career wise. One of the reasons that were mentioned for this was the fact that 1500 employees will retire within the next five years and Riksbyggen often fill jobs internally, which requires training in order to cope with a new job title that comes with new work tasks. ”We want our employees to feel as if they can grow inside our organization, the company can never grow if the employees do not” (G. Krona, personal communication, 2009-09- 08). Riksbyggen offer different courses tailored to fit different employees with whatever their need is, giving everyone a chance to go from one position to another which is something they take great pride in. Hypothetically an employee can go from caretaker to CEO. As previously mentioned, Gustafsson started as a carpenter and now he is sales and market coordinator for region west.

Stress Team Play

According to Berry and Parasuraman (2000) having a team around one self is very impor-tant when working in a service organization as dealing with customers each day can be very demanding and having a team that experience the same things can act as a support. Every-one interviewed claimed to enjoy working at Riksbyggen for multiple reasons. Both Juhlin and Petersson working at the headquarter in Stockholm thought that having co-workers that you get along with were important both for feedback as well as the comfort of having people to talk and laugh with as well as the open-hearted spirit at the office (personal communication, 2009-09-08).

Leverage the Freedom Factor

During the interviews, it became clear that freedom is an important factor for the em-ployees. All of the interviewees stated that one of the best things with working at Riksbyg-gen was the chance of working independently with a lot of responsibility in their daily work.

Measure and Reward

Measuring the individual‟s performance and rewarding those that are doing more than ex-pected is important according to Berry and Parasuraman (1992, cited in Varey & Lewis, 2000). Riksbyggen has a relatively new bonus system that is being paid out if the organiza-tion is doing well. The bonus is paid out to everyone employed at Riksbyggen, thus not giv-ing focus on how a particular employee has performed. On one hand, this can make the employee feel that there is no particular reason for them to perform better than expected as they will not be individually rewarded. On the other hand, this system will make everyone feel as if they are part of the organization‟s success no matter if they are the manager of a sales team or a janitor. Another form of reward is the funding for taking courses unrelated to their work. This sends a message that they are valued and needed and is worth doing something they are in-terested and makes them happy.

Know thy Customer

Berry and Parasuraman (1992) stress the importance of researching not only the opinions of an organization‟s external customers, but also do marketing research on their employees that should be considered as the organization‟s internal customers (cited in Varey & Lewis, 2000). At Riksbyggen they perform a yearly employee survey anonymously that is later eva-luated and presented locally. According to Krona the results of the survey depends much on the specific manager the office has and it is therefore the results has to be presented lo-cally and discussed at the local office (G. Krona, personal communication, 2009-09-08).

Internal Communication

Smith (2005), lists five different departments that all can have the responsibility to commu-nicate internally in the organization. At Riksbyggen the person in charge of the internal communication is Göran Krona who has the title of Director of information. He is respon-sible for both the external and internal communication of the organization which implies that the responsibility of the internal communications falls under the public rela-tions/corporate communications. The benefit of putting the responsibility of internal communications on the public relations department is that as they handle both the internal and external communication, it is likely that there will be a cohesive message sent to all stakeholders, internal along with external. However the author also mentions that a com-mon risk is that the public relations department will allocate more time, effort and re-sources on communicating with external stakeholders as they might consider them to be more important (Smith, 2005). However Riksbyggen seem to donate both time and money in their effort to reach their internal stakeholders.

1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Problem Discussion
1.3 Purpose
2 Frame of Reference 
2.1 Corporate Identity
2.2 Internal marketing
2.3 Internal Communication
2.4 Printed Media
2.5 Online Media
2.6 Other Media
2.7 Open Communication
3 Method
3.1 Research Approach
3.2 Selection of Case
3.3 Primary Data Collection
3.4 Data Display
3.5 Trustworthiness
3.6 Criticism of Chosen Method
4 Empirical Findings 
4.1 Corporate Identity
4.2 Internal Marketing
4.3 Internal Communications
4.4 Openness
4.5 Evaluation
4.6 Problems with the Internal Communications
5 Analysis
5.1 Corporate Identity
5.2 Internal Marketing
5.3 Essentials of Internal Marketing
5.4 Internal Communication
5.5 Communication Channels
6 Conclusion 
7 Discussion 
7.1 Further research suggestion

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