2005-06-01 Course: FEK 582 Bachelor thesis10 p Spring 2005 Institution of Business Administration Models of Service Marketing A Study on the Marketing Functions of Project Workers in Knowledge-Intensive Companies Advisor Nadja Sorgarde Author Marie-Luise Guzzoni Sammanfattning:
Titel: Models of Service Marketing – a Study on the Marketing Functions of Nine Project Workers in Knowledge-Intensive Companies 2005-06-03 FEK, 582 Kandidatuppsats, 10 poang Marie-Luise Guzzoni Nadja Sorgarde Project worker, service marketing models, internal marketing, interactive marketing, external marketing Min uppsats syfte ar att ifragasatta modellen service marketing triangel och foresla ett alternativt satt att betrakta service marketing. Jag har anvant mig av en kvalitativ metod och har gjort en djup utformning av min studie.
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Jag har gjort en fallstudie av nio projektarbetare i olika foretag. Information har samlats in genom intervjuer, litteratur, artiklar, hemsidor, mm. Den primara och sekundara informationen har analyserats med hjalp av teorin om service marketing. Teorier som anvands i denna uppsats ar teorin om service marketing med en central modell som tas som utgangspunkt. Dessutom spelar teorin om relationsmarknadsforing och foretagets kultur en viktig roll. Empirin ar uppdelat i tre delar och presenteras tillsammans med dess analys.
Den bestar av intervjuernas resultat. I lopet av mina intervjuer och dess analys blev det snabbt klart att det finns en skillnad mellan teorin om service marketing och det jag hade funnit ut i min empiri. Denna lycka fyllas i de tre del-argument och forenas i slutsatsen med skapandet av en ny modell. Denna modell ar representativ for situationen av de projektarbetare i min studie och ger ideer for vidare forskning. Seminariedatum: Kurs: Forfattare: Handledare: Fem nyckelord: Syfte: Metod: Teoretiska perspektiv: Empiri: Slutsatser: 1 Abstract:
Title: Models of Service Marketing – a Study on the Marekting Functions of Nine Projekt Workers in Knowledge-Intensive Companies 2005-06-03 Bachelor thesis in business administration, 10 Swedish Credits (15 ECTS) Marie-Luise Guzzoni Nadja Sorgarde Project worker, service marketing models, internal marketing, interactive marketing, external marketing The purpose of my study is to question the model service marketing triangle and propose an alternative way of looking at service marketing. This thesis is based on a deep, qualitative study.
In the research of the material an abductive approach has been used. The primary information sources are interviews with project workers, which are being analyzed together with the theoretical background in part argumentations in the course of the thesis. In the last chapter they are unified. The theory about service marketing, with a central model as a starting point, together with the theory about relationship marketing and organizational culture build the theoretical frame of reference of this study.
The empirical foundation is based on the interviews with the project workers and is divided up into three part argumentations, together with the analysis and the respective part of the theories. In the course of the interviews and their analysis it has become clear that there exists an anomaly between the theory and this study’s results. This is being explained by a final model which has been developed throughout this study. It explains the marketing functions of the project workers and gives incentives for viewing the situation from a new perspective. Seminar date: Course:
Author: Advisor: Key words: Purpose: Methodology: Theoretical Perspectives: Empirical foundation: Conclusions: 2 Preface The study in hand is a bachelor thesis within the field knowledge-intensive companies and –professions at the business school, Lund University. First of all I would like to thank the nine interviewees for their help and time. I appreciate their efforts and cooperativeness. I especially want to thank my coordinator, Nadja Sorgargde, who was always there to help and give creative tips, incentives and criticism. Without her this thesis would not be what it is.
Finally I want to thank Trine Bo-Pedersen, a good Norwegian O friend, who took her time, read my thesis, corrected it and discussed it with me, which was of great advantage for my thesis’ progress. I even want to thank my laptop for it never let me in the lurch and with whom I spent a whole lot of hours during these last weeks. Finally I wish You a nice reading and hope you will enjoy my work. Lund, 2005-06-05 Marie-Luise Guzzoni 3 Table of contents 1. Introduction …………………………………………………………….. 6 1. Background of the thesis ……………………………………………………………….. 6 1. 1. 1 Knowledge-intensive companies ……………………………………….. 6 1. 1. 2 The marketing of knowledge-intensive companies ………………. 7 1. 2 Problem discussion……………………………………………………………………….. 9 1. 3 Purpose with my study ………………………………………………………………… 10 1. 5 Disposition…………………………………………………………………………………. 10 . Methodology / Research Approach…………………………… 12 2. 1 General approach………………………………………………………………………… 12 2. 2 Subjects of examination ………………………………………………………………. 13 2. 2. 1 The interviewees ……………………………………………………………. 14 2. 2. 2 The companies ………………………………………………………………. 14 2. 3 Information sources…………………………………………………………………….. 15 2. 3. Oral sources ………………………………………………………………….. 15 2. 3. 2 Written sources – theoretical background ………………………….. 17 2. 4 Criteria for evaluating this qualitative research ………………………………. 18 2. 4. 1 Trustworthiness……………………………………………………………… 19 3. The Service Marketing Triangle ………………………………. 20 4. Internal Marketing …………………………………………………. 24 4. 1 Internal marketing in theory …………………………………………………………. 4 4. 2 Internal marketing in my study – empirical findings ……………………….. 26 4. 3 Internal marketing – conclusions for my analysis……………………………. 29 5. Interactive Marketing ……………………………………………… 32 5. 1 Interactive marketing in theory …………………………………………………….. 32 5. 2 Interactive marketing in my study – empirical findings……………………. 34 5. 3 Interactive marketing – conclusions for my analysis ……………………….. 38 6. External Marketing ………………………………………………… 1 6. 1 External marketing in theory………………………………………………………… 41 4 6. 2 External marketing in my study – empirical findings ………………………. 42 6. 3 External marketing – conclusions for my analysis…………………………… 45 7. Conclusions – The Service Marketing Circle……………… 47 7. 1 The Service Marketing Circle ………………………………………………………. 47 7. 2 What means the result within the analysis?…………………………………….. 49 7. Reflection, stimulated thoughts and suggestions for further studies…… 50 8. Reference List ………………………………………………………… 51 Appendix A: ………………………………………………………………. 55 List of figures 1. 1 The Service Marketing Triangle ………………………………………………. 8 3. 1 The Service Marketing Triangle ……………………………………………. 20 4. 1 Internal Marketing in the Service Marketing Triangle ……………………… 24 4. 2 Internal Marketing in practice: from hierarchy to equality …………………. 30 5. 1 Interactive Marketing in the Service Marketing Triangle …………………… 2 5. 2 The process of interaction between the project worker and the client ………39 6. 1 External Marketing in the Service Marketing Triangle …………………….. 41 6. 2 The changing focus of external marketing in the organizations ……………. 46 7. 1 From the Service Marketing Triangle to the Service Marketing Circle …….. 48 5 1. Introduction In this chapter I give a comprehensive background of the purpose with my study. Thereafter follows a discussion of the problem, which finally leads to the problem formulation. I conclude the chapter with an outline of the thesis’ remaining parts. 1. 1 Background of the thesis
When Theodore Levitt wrote his famous article “Marketing Myopia”1 the business world was changing from an industrial economy to a service economy, companies started thinking in customer-oriented terms instead of in product-oriented as they did before2. Because of growing competition, stagnation in mature markets and globalization, companies had to become more and more service oriented in order to survive on the market place3. Today, we find ourselves in a similar situation, but within another trend: we are part of a movement often called post-industrial, service and knowledge economy4 or information society5.
This is indicated by an easing number of academics, education and competence as only tool for competition on the market place and about two third of the BNP deriving from the service sector6. 1. 1. 1 Knowledge-intensive companies Since the 1980s a new category of companies, selling knowledge, has arisen7. Among others are consultancy firms, training organizations, and head-hunting companies8. Training organizations are companies who are intermediaries between those who have the knowledge and those who need it, providing further training, coaching, sometimes consulting and similar services to other companies and
Levitt, Theodore, Marketing Myopia, 1975 Normann, Richard, Service Management – ledning och strategi I tjansteproduktionen, 2000 3 Levitt, Theodore, Marketing Myopia, 1975 4 Zeithaml, Valerie A. and Bitner, Mary Jo, Services Marketing, 1996 5 Hedlund, Gunnar and Nonaka, Ikujiro, Models of Knowledge Management in the West and Japan, Stockholm, 1991 6 Zeithaml, Valerie A. and Bitner, Mary Jo, Services Marketing, 1996 7 Alvesson, Mats, Management of Knowledge-Intensive Companies, 1995 8 Karl Erik Sveiby, Kunskaps Ledning, 1991 2 1 6 organizations9. This is the sector of knowledge-intensive service companies that is relevant for my study.
The most significant characteristics of these knowledge-intensive service companies are a qualified knowledge-base, solving of complex, mostly notstandardized problems and they are strongly depending on the creative individual10. Further specialties of knowledge-intensive service companies are that they are characterised by a huge degree of autonomy of the single members and no hierarchical structure, ad hoc-like organizational forms, as Alvesson calls them11. I am going to concentrate in my study on knowledge workers in international consultancy and training companies of small till middle size.
The reasons for focusing on this group are their interesting and highly non-standardized jobs and assignments. 1. 1. 2 The marketing of knowledge-intensive companies The marketing function’s situation in service firms is different from the one in traditional companies. The marketing does not take place in a single department any longer, but it is split up in several functions and dispersed over the whole organization12. Behind this special and relatively new situation stands the theorists’ idea that all the employees are involved in marketing and conscious of their functions as marketers13.
My theoretical background is service marketing, but I do not take it upon me to include the whole theory of service marketing, which is a huge wide theory. The basis of my analysis are the three marketing functions Gronroos differentiates in his service marketing theory and visualizes with the help of the central model service marketing triangle14. This model with Gronroos’ idea of where the marketing functions reside and how they should be implemented will be questioned and analyzed in the course of my thesis. Interview with Erik E. of my nine interviewees, 18. . 2005 Ahrnell, Britt-Marie and Nicou, Monica, Kunskapsforetagets Marknadsforing, 1989 ; Sveiby, Karl-Erik, Kunskapsforetaget, Kristianstad, 1989 11 Alvesson, Mats, Kunskapsarbete och Kunskapsforetag, Kristianstad, 2004 12 Alvesson, Mats, Kunskapsarbete och Kunskapsforetag, Kristianstad, 2004 13 Alvesson, Mats, Kunskapsarbete och Kunskapsforetag, Kristianstad, 2004; Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing, 2000 14 Gronroos, Christian, Relationship Marketing Logic, Asia-Australia Marketing Journal, 4(1), 1996, p. 10 in Gronroos, C. Service Management and Marketing, 2000 10 9 7 I will give a broad outline of the model here, for the reader’s better understanding. FIRM Internal marketing External marketing EMPLOYEES Interactive marketing CUSTOMERS Figure 1. 1 The Service Marketing Triangle This model15 shows the three marketing functions important for service firms and how they are divided between the different actors. What they are about can be read in more detail in the following chapters. These three marketing functions are internal marketing, interactive marketing and external marketing16.
According to Gronroos the internal marketing has to be managed by the company’s leadership, the interactive marketing happens between the employees and the clients and the external marketing is what takes place between the company’s management and the clients17. For the service marketing in knowledge-intensive companies, parts of some other theories, which are related to service marketing theory, are also important: relationship marketing18 and corporate culture19. 15 Gronroos, Christian, Relationship Marketing Logic, Asia-Australia Marketing Journal, 4(1), 1996, p. 10 in Gronroos, C. Service Management and Marketing, 2000 16 Ibid 17 Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing, 2000 18 Gummesson, Evert, Relationsmarknadsforing : fran 4 P till 30 R, Malmo, 2002 19 Alvesson, Mats, Understanding Organizational Culture, London, 2002 8 1. 2 Problem discussion There are many different voices in academic circles claiming that there is no real need of a separate marketing department anymore20. They want every member in the organization to be part of the marketing-functions21. This does not mean, though, that traditional marketing is totally superfluous, it has only become one of several marketing functions.
And it points to the theorists’ idea of every employee being conscious of his marketing function within the organization and in interaction with the clients22. Sveiby, among others, states that many knowledge-intensive companies often do not care much about their marketing strategy since the classical marketing theories are not applicable in their traditional form any longer and they are not sufficient for effective marketing23. The classical marketing mix: product, price, promotion and place have to be changed and re-interpreted completely24.
According to Sveiby25 and others26, this means that the product is no product any longer, but a service with several special characteristics. The price is often difficult to assess for services of knowledge-intensive companies. Production and consumption happen simultaneously with the involvement of the client. Promotion is not as easy anymore because of the intangibility of services and the place is also very difficult to assess since the selling of the service takes mostly place together with the client, thus the project worker has to be where the client is. (…) knowledge-intensive firms are quite often characterized by rapid growth and success (…)”27 This quotation points to the fact that the business was mostly running by itself and calculated marketing seemed unnecessary, or was not thought of at all28. But as competition rises on a national and global level the need of a re-definition of Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing, 2000; Sveiby, Karl-Erik, Kunskapsforetaget, 1986 21 Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing, 2000; Zeithaml, Valerie A. nd Bitner, Mary Jo, Services Marketing, 1996; Normann, Richard, Service Management, 2000 22 Ibid 23 Sveiby, Karl-Erik, Kunskapsflodet, 1995 24 Ahrnell, Britt-Marie and Nicou, Monica, Kunskapsforetagets Marknadsforing, 1989 25 Sveiby, Karl-Erik, Kunskapsflodet, 1995 26 Ahrnell, Britt-Marie and Nicou, Monica, Kunskapsforetagets Marknadsforing, 1989; Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing, 2000; Gummesson, Evert, Relationsmarknadsforing : fran 4 P till 30 R, Malmo, 2002 27 Alvesson, Mats, Management of Knowledge-Intensive Companies, 1995, page 10 28 Sveiby, Karl-Erik, Kunskapsforetaget, 1986 0 9 marketing-strategy seems to be needed. This became clearer in the course of my empirical research. And this is also what the authors claim for: the need of a marketing attitude of mind of every employee, reflected in Gronroos’ model29. But none of the interviewees considered themselves as executing a part of the marketing functions. “Marketing? Well, we have no marketing in the traditional sense, so, I guess, we have no marketing at all (…). ” Erik E. There is not only the external, traditional marketing.
Also the internal and interactive marketing are not in the minds of the interviewees. I found out in the course of my nine interviews that this, what the authors claim for, the dispersed marketing and the involved persons being conscious of it, is not the case with those persons I interviewed. They do not see themselves as marketers. Why is this so? Do they have a bad education? Are they not able to realize the importance of marketing which they should bear? Are the companies too small to consider marketing? Is it possible to have no marketing at all as many of the interviewees postponed?
There seems to be a gap between the need of marketing and its non-existence which has to be researched. And this is what I did. The answers to these questions will be analysed and discussed in the following chapters. 1. 3 Purpose with my study The purpose of my study is to question the model service marketing triangle and propose an alternative way of looking at service marketing. 1. 5 Disposition 1. Introduction In the thesis’ first part I introduce the reader to the field of study I research in my thesis. 29
Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing, 2000; Normann, Richard, Service Management, 2000 10 2. Methodology The methodological approach in order to confront the problem is being treated in this chapter. It is even presented how the collection of the material has been conducted. The approach’s trustworthiness, possible criticisms and possible other approaches are being dealt with. 3. The Service Marketing Triangle A short overview over the theory of service marketing based on the model of the service marketing triangle is given in this chapter.
The chapter is concluded with the theorists’ claim for the project workers conscious role as marketers. 4. Internal Marketing The theory of the first fundamental marketing function, the internal marketing is being explained in this chapter, followed by the presentation and analysis of the empirical results. The chapter is concluded with my proposal for a new way of visualizing the internal marketing function. 5. Interactive Marketing This chapter is built up like the previous.
It starts with an introduction in the theory of interactive marketing and concludes with a presentation and analysis of the empirical results relevant for this area. 6. External Marketing The same order in this part about the last marketing function: the external marketing. First the theoretical background, followed by the empirical findings, their interpretation and analysis. 7. Conclusion – The Service Marketing Circle In this chapter the results of the analysis of the previous three chapters will be integrated to one final argumentation for my purpose.
Feedback to the purpose is given and proposals for further research. In the introduction I have given comprehensive background information, followed by the discussion of the problem which resulted in my problem formulation, my purpose. In the next chapter I will argument for the way I approached my research and discuss possible other methodologies. 11 2. Methodology / Research Approach In this chapter of the thesis I argue for the methodology of this study in the lights of a qualitative, “non-objectivistic” research study.
I also explain how I collected the material from the primary and the secondary sources. I am critical to the sources I used and discuss the thesis’ trustworthiness. 2. 1 General approach In my research, I used a mixture of the deductive and the inductive method: the abductive method. I started with reading quite a lot of theory, academic articles30, books31, former thesis and papers on knowledge work, its ambiguity32, management consulting, the changing role of marketing, as for example the article The Role of Marketing Past, Present and Future written by Tim Denison and Malcom McDonald33.
Thus I started with the deductive method which takes theory as a starting point and then observes the reality in order to see whether the theory works in these cases34. The theories which were important for my study were the areas of marketing with a focus on service marketing and the theory about knowledgeintensive companies and professions. After I got my interview appointments I could start with the empirical research. When I had conducted my interviews and detected several findings I went back to the theoretic world and found theories which seemed to be interesting to analyse in the lights of my empirical findings.
This would be an inductive approach: to start Levitt, Theodore, Marketing Myopia, Marketing Classics, A Selection of Influential Articles, 1990; Christopher, Martin, From Brand Values to Customer Value, Journal of Marketing Practice, Vol. 2 No. 1, 1996; Denison, Tim and McDonald, Malcom, The Role of Marketing Past, Present and Future, Journal of Marketing Practice, Vol. 1 No. 1, 1995; Grant, Sir Alistar, Marketing, The Need to Contribute to Overall Business Effectivenss, Journal of Marketing Practice, Vol. 2 No. , 1996 31 Clark, Timothy, (1995), Managing Consultants: Consultancy as a Management of Impressions, Open University Press, Buckingham; James O’Shea and Charles Madigan, Dangerous Company, The Consulting Powerhouses and the Business They Save and Ruin, London, 1999; Robert M. Grant, Contemporary Strategy Analysis, 2002; Gummesson, Evert, Models of professional service marketing, Stockholm, Malmo, 1979; Gummesson, Evert, Relationsmarknadsforing : fran 4 P till 30 R, Malmo, 2002; Ahrnell, Britt-Marie, Kunskapsforetagets marknadsforing : att utveckla kundrelationer, kvalitet och kompetens, Malmo, 1996; Lovelock, Christopher H. Services marketing : people, technology, strategy, 2000; Alvesson, M. , Understanding Organizational Culture, London, 2002; Enis, Ben M. , Marketing principles : the management process, 1974; Sveiby, Karl Erik, Kunskapsforetaget : seklets viktigaste ledarutmaning? , Malmo, 1986; and others 32 Alvesson, Mats, Knwoledge Work: Ambiguity, Image and Identity, Human Relations, 2001 33 Denison, Tim and McDonald, Malcom, The Role of Markting Past, Present and Future, Journal of Marketing Practice, Vol. 1 No. 1, 1995 34 Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, 2003 30 2 with observations or findings and first then look at the theories. As I followed neither the one nor the other consequently, I swung between these two, which is called abductive approach. 35 This is also reflected in my purpose: I am working on the assumption that there are three different marketing functions, which is the theorists’ basic idea in the service marketing theory. But when considering the embodiment of these functions in the project workers’ jobs I take the empirical findings as a starting point, and question the theory.
The aim of the interviews was to get a deeper understanding of the interviewees’ job and their views of certain issues. That’s why I conducted, if possible, personal interviews in order to get deep, profound qualitative information. Qualitative research builds on peoples’ intentions, actions, and their interpretations36. In this case it means that I used open questions in my interviews and let the interviewees talk freely in order to be able to read between the lines later, which means that I evaluated and interpreted the answers subjectively.
And this is exactly what qualitative research is about: interpreting empirical findings with one’s own glasses of knowledge37. 2. 2 Subjects of examination The subjects of examination are nine project workers in different companies and organizations. Thus I write from their perspective. I begin with the discussion about the chosen interviewees and in the next step I present their professional background. The employees I chose as my subjects of research are project workers. A project worker is an employee or a partner in a knowledge-intensive company or organization.
They organize or take part in offered programmes or projects. They play the most crucial role in the organization since the personnel in these companies are their products, their core and their most important asset. This is a definition I myself use for my thesis, but the statements about the personnel as the most 35 36 Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, 2003 Ibid 37 Ibid 13 important asset is in accordance with Alvesson38, Lowendahl39 and many other authors40. 2. 2. 1 The interviewees Most important are the persons I interviewed.
They are my subjects of examination. They are all project workers in highly knowledge-intensive companies. Their professional background might have some influence on the way in which they work or on their relationship to the client, which could be considered critically, but as the outcomes of my interviews showed are there no such great differences. 2. 2. 2 The companies My focus lies not on the whole company per-se. I want to research are the project workers and their situation in these kinds of companies.
This means that where they come from is only background information and my main attention goes for the persons’ jobs in the lights of different marketing functions and their embodiment in the jobs. The five companies are all highly knowledge-intensive companies, and come from two related industries: consulting and training companies. All the companies I chose to examine are of a small- till middle-size. They are from Sweden, Norway and Germany and all of them operate on an international basis. The question might arise why I did not choose all companies in Sweden or Norway or Germany.
The answer is that I was curious about seeing whether there are country-specific differences, which appeared not to be so. If it had become clear through the interviews that there are significant differences I would have changed my approach slightly in order to include these in my thesis. I chose these small- till middle-sized companies intentionally because in my opinion the individual member in such a company has much more freedom and also more possibilities to influence the processes in the company which is of huge relevance for my field of study.
And that is of course highly relevant for my study. This is of such a great importance because automatically the project workers 38 39 Alvesson, Mats, Kunskapsarbete och Kunskapsforetag, Kristiansstad, 2004 Lowendahl, Bente R. , Strategic Management or Professional Service Firms, Copenhagen, 2000 40 Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing, 2000; Zeithaml, Valerie A. and Bitner, Mary Jo, Services Marketing, 1996; Normann, Richard, Service Management, 2000 14 function as marketers gets more weight.
If the outcome of my research should be that the project workers conduct no marketing at all a change of this situation would have much more importance since ever individual can influence so much in a small organization. As one of the project workers asked for staying anonymous, I chose to leave them all anonym and gave them fictitious names. 2. 3 Information sources 2. 3. 1 Oral sources The nine interviews I conducted are the basis of my research. They helped me understand the existence of the three marketing functions, as proposed by ervice marketing theory, but that there is also a gap between the theory and the practice concerning the embodiment of these functions in the organization, which I want to analyze in this thesis and find a possible solution. Interview guide I wanted to be open for different possible answers, so I compiled my interview guide, which can be found in Appendix A, with various open questions of the field I was interested in. I left room for the interviewees’ own perspectives. I am conscious of the fact that there is always a gap between what the interviewee tells me and how I understand it.
But it is my assignment to understand what the interviewees say through my knowledge glasses, which is the basic sense of my qualitative study. The interviews The persons I interviewed are all project workers in knowledge-intensive companies. I chose to interview them and not managers or secretaries. They are the crucial actors, the centre of the marketing functions and the companies’ most important asset41. That is the reason why I chose them as my subjects of research.
Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing, 2000; Alvesson, Mats, Management of knowledge-intensive companies, Berlin, New York, 1995 41 15 Before I met the interviewees I sent them the interview guide, so that the interviewees had a chance of to prepare themselves and know what the interview would be about. An advantage of this is that the interviewee has time to think about the questions and answers before we meet. A possible disadvantage might be that he is prepared to sensitive questions and can think about how to talk round this subject.
But as my interview guide does not consist of concrete questions the interviewees were prepared, but did not know exactly what I was going to ask them. The interviews themselves were often more like vivid conversations; I did seldom follow the sequence of my questions and areas of interest. I let the interviewees guide the flow of information and intervened by asking deeper questions when the interviewees touched upon issues of interest for my research or when the interviewees talked about another important issue.
My aim was to get rich, detailed answers. The interviews took seldom less than one hour, rather one and a half, once even two hours. Thus, I conducted semi-structured interviewing42. I had several fairly precise areas I wanted to know more about. These are among others the company’s organization, the interviewee’s assignments, the culture in the company, the existence of planned marketing and their attitude towards marketing, which was of the main interest, communication within the organization and with the clients and some others.
Personal or by telephone? Because of geographical distance I could not conduct all interviews personally, which is of course not only favourable. But it was not possible differently. The personal impression of the interviewee, the way he answers and the impression of the office are missing. On the other hand a telephone interview needs not only be negative since for example the interview-effect, the influence of the interviewer on the interviewee, is not as strong as with a personal meeting43.
Whenever possible I tape-recorded, transcribed and then translated the interviews. Additionally I noted the most important points the interviewee mentioned during the interview, also in order to be able to refer to this later in the conversation. I often did not transcribe everything the interviewees said because it would simply 42 43 Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, 2003 Arbnor, Ingemann and Bjerke, Bjorn, Foretagsekonomisk matodlara, 1994, page 243 16 ave been impossible and far too time consuming, as the interviews lasted never less than one hour. But I kept the tapes so that I could listen to important passages again. Possible critics for the oral sources could be that I chose several different companies and the answer is that the company is irrelevant for this study. For sure the company an interviewee works in has no little influence on him. But as the results from the interviews did not vary too much, very little in my fields of interest, this critic becomes powerless.
That I did not always have the possibility to interview the project workers personally is not the best solution, but looking at my results I can say that the telephone interviews very at least as insightful and informative as the personal interviews. 2. 3. 2 Written sources – theoretical background As secondary data I used both, student literature and other specialized literature which totally or partly covers different perspectives of my field of research. Furthermore I used former thesis and the internet to get informed about my topic.
I even studied how to structure an interview, how to ask the right questions and how to lead the conversation in the case of semi-structured interviews44. Furthermore I studied how to analyze and work with the collected material45 and finally how to write a paper46. In order to get relevant information about the current situation I searched for scientific articles47 and earlier studies48 which are about or touch upon my topic. The role of the theoretical background chosen for this thesis has as well been a basis for the interviews as also a tool to question existing theory.
It is difficult to say whether there was first the theory or first the empirical foundation. Partly the Andersson, Bengt-Erik, Som Man Fragar Far Man Svar, 1994 Alvesson, Mats and Skoldberg, Kaj, Tolkning och Reflektion, Lund, 1994; Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, 2003 46 Rienecker, Lotte and Jorgensen, Peter Stray, Att skriva en bra uppsats, Malmo, 2000 47 Levitt, Theodore, Marketing Myopia, Marketing Classics, 1990; Christopher, Martin, From Brand Values to Customer Value, Journal of Marketing Practice, Vol. 2 No. , 1996; Denison, Tim and McDonald, Malcom, The Role of Marketing Past, Present and Future, Journal of Marketing Practice, Vol. 1 No. 1, 1995; Grant, Sir Alistar, Marketing: The Need to Contribute to Overall Business Effectivenss, Journal of Marketing Practice, Vol. 2 No. 3, 1996 48 Gummesson, Evert, Models of Professional Service Marketing, 1979; Alvesson, Mats, Knowledge Work: Ambiguity, Image and Identity, Human Relations, 2001 45 44 17 theory was a basis for the development of my purpose, partly the results from the interviews.
How the disposition is set up derives partly from what has been found out in the interviews, that there are these three marketing functions and partly from what I read about service marketing. 2. 4 Criteria for evaluating this qualitative research There are several possible ways of evaluating a qualitative study. One has to be careful when applying the classical concept of reliability and validity since they originally assess the quality of a quantitative research. Especially validity is often used evaluating a measurement, which is not at all the aim of a qualitative research. 9 In my research I do not measure how many project leaders have the same answers to some questions, but my purpose is to find out how they answer. A solution might be to adapt the concepts of reliability and validity to the special characteristics of qualitative research or to use different criteria, which are, for example, trustworthiness and authenticity50. Trustworthiness is made up of four criteria: credibility, transparency, dependability and confirm ability. These different criteria parallel to internal and external reliability and validity.
I have chosen to refer to these alternative criteria for my qualitative study, suggested by Guba and Lincoln51. Guba and Lincoln criticize furthermore the concept of reliability and validity because they “(…) presuppose that one single absolute account of social reality is feasible. (…)”52. Their view is that there can absolutely be more than one account53. Which in my eyes suits quite well to my method since I also follow the assumption that there is not one perfect view of the world, but that actually every individual follows its own realities and interprets the world through its own glasses.
In the following part I argue for the trustworthiness in my study. I do not go into authenticy any deeper since it is about “(…) a wider set of issues concerning the wider political impact of research. (…)”54 which is of no greater importance for my study. 49 50 Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, Oxford, 2003 Ibid 51 Guba and Lincoln (1994) in Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, Oxford, 2003 52 Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, Oxford, 2003, page 288 53 Ibid 54 Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, Oxford, 2003, page 289 18 2. 4. 1 Trustworthiness
The four criteria of trustworthiness are presented here with relevance to this study: Credibility: this is the most important criterion for trustworthiness, which parallels internal validity. You as the reader and maybe evaluator of my study should be able to believe in what I find out, discuss and argue for55. To achieve this I am as honest as possible by revealing every step I made and by highlighting critically every choice I made and every conclusion I drew. Furthermore I let those whom I interviewed confirm what I wrote which is also called respondent validation56.
Transferability: Transferability parallels external validity. As I only study a small group of individuals who have certain characteristics in common, I can go into depth rather than breadth. According to Guba and Lincoln57 transferability can be achieved through a rich deep study which can then be the base for others making judgements about the transferability. They call this for thick description58. In my study I try to get as profound information as possible. I concentrate on the marketing functions of project workers and the embodiment of these functions in the project workers’ job.
Dependability: as a parallel to reliability Guba and Lincoln suggest dependability which implies some kind of auditing approach. I should keep records of all phases of my research so that others can control all procedures and follow my line of analysis. As far as this is possible this is what I did. Confirmability: Confirmability parallels objectivity and means that the researcher should try not to get influenced by personal values and opinions59. This is what I do; I try to be critical to certain concepts, models, and theories and especially to myself.
But as this is a qualitative study with an interpretation of the empirical results through the authors’ knowledge glasses it gets influenced by this view of knowledge. In this chapter I presented the way and the means of approach in my study. The next chapter will be about the model, which is the starting point of my discussion. The service marketing triangle. 55 56 Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, Oxford, 2003, page 288 Ibid 57 Guba and Lincoln, 1994, in Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, Oxford, 2003 58 Ibid, page 289 59 Guba and Lincoln, 1994, in Bryman and Hall, Business Research Methods, Oxford, 2003 9 3. The Service Marketing Triangle The theory that serves as a basis and which is questioned and exploded in the next chapters will be presented here. An overview over the different functions and their relation will be given. The chapter will be concluded with the theorists’ idea of the implementation of service marketing in the organization. To understand the complex role of marketing in service companies I would like to use a central model from Gronroos, which many other authors like Kotler60 and Zeithaml61 also refer to and which suits perfectly well to my study.
This model is the service marketing triangle62. FIRM Internal marketing External marketing EMPLOYEES Interactive marketing CUSTOMERS Figure 3. 1 The Service Marketing Triangle In order to give a better understanding of the model to the reader, I first explain Gronroos’ model63 in a few words and then I will go into the different functions in more detail in the next chapters. With the help of my empirical results I will analyze every single marketing function immediately after I presented the theoretical background.
All the three following chapters are part of my argumentation and analysis which I will unite in the seventh chapter. 60 61 Kotler, Philipp and Armstrong, Gary, Marketing: an introduction, Upper Saddle River, 2005 Quinn, James Brian in Zeithaml, Valerie A. and Bitner, Mary Jo, Services Marketing, 1996 62 Gronroos, Christian, Relationship Marketing Logic, Asia-Australia Marketing Journal, 4(1), 1996, p. 10 in Gronroos, C. , Service Management and Marketing, 2000 63 Gronroos, Christian, Relationship Marketing Logic, Asia-Australia Marketing Journal, 4(1), 1996, p. 10 in Gronroos, C. Service Management and Marketing, 2000, page 55 20 The firm is the management including full-time marketers and salespeople who give promises to the customers and have to enable the promise through continuous development and internal marketing with their employees64. This internal marketing is a prerequisite for external and interactive marketing and can be reached through attractive and stimulating places of work, together with good internal communication65. The employees are those working in close contact to the customers, also called parttime marketers by Gummesson66.
They are the ones who conduct the interactive marketing67. In this study the employees play the most important role and are in this study represented by the nine project workers that have been interviewed. The customer, called client in this study, is exposed to the external marketing, which parallels marketing communication and the traditional function of marketing. It is aiming to inform and to survey it68. These are the different functions of marketing, which are the basis of my analysis.
This model suits in two ways well into my research: it clarifies that there are, in comparison to the marketing of products, several different functions of marketing69. Secondly, in my context, the single project workers should actually be or function as part-time marketers, as Gummesson70 calls them. Altogether, Gronroos claims for the existence of marketing as a philosophy, an attitude of mind, as a way of organizing the various functions and processes of a firm and finally as a set of tools and techniques71. What I want to clarify with this is that there are several marketing functions in ervice firms, not only traditional marketing and this has direct impact on the employees, the project workers, in these firms. Gronroos, C. , Service Management and Marketing, 2000 Quinn, James Brian in Zeithaml, Valerie A. and Bitner, Mary Jo, Services Marketing, 1996 66 Gummesson, Evert, The part-time marketer, Forskningsrapport / Hogskolan i Karlstad, 90:3, (1999) 67 Gronroos, C. , Service Management and Marketing, 2000 68 Alvesson, Mats, Management of knowledge-intensive companies, Berlin, New York, 1995 69 Gronroos, C. Service Management and Marketing, 2000 70 Gummesson, Evert, The part-time marketer, Forskningsrapport / Hogskolan i Karlstad, 90:3, (1999) 71 Gronroos, C. , Service Management and Marketing. Managing the Moments of Truth in Service Competition, Lexington, 1990, page 235 65 64 21 Let us now turn to how the theory thinks about the embodiment of these functions in the organization and where there is a gap between this research’s empirical findings and the theory of service marketing.
If we look at the implementation of the marketing functions in the organization, many different voices besides Gronroos claim for dispersed marketing, as shown in the triangle, some even go as far as asking for the total closing down of the marketing department. This is also what Christer Ugander thinks, quoted in Ahrnell’s Kunskapsforetagets Marknadsforing (1989): “Sometimes I get the question ‘How big is your marketing department? ‘. My answer: I have none. This is some kind of bottom-up philosophy, which is dictated by the need to be totally adapted to the market. Christer Ugander, Europachef at Cap Gemini in 1989 72 How this concept of the marketing function being split up and spread over the whole organization should look like in the industry is explained very clearly by Gronroos73, Gummesson74 and some other authors75. They ask for all the members in an organization being conscious of their marketing functions76. And additionally, Gummesson proposes the existence of part-time marketers, who are specialists in their own professional areas but simultaneously also have to perform traditional marketing tasks77.
This would imply for the project workers in this study, that they have to get trained as marketers and conduct marketing as a part of their jobs besides their assignments as project workers. How this looks like in reality will be turned to later on. The authors base their ideas about the embodiment of the marketing in the organization on the explicit assumptions that all these different employees incorporating the roles of marketers are aware of their function and even get trained and motivated by the management in conducting it consciously78. Gronroos calls 72
Ugander, Christer in Ahrnell, Britt-Marie, Kunskapsforetagets Marknadsforing; original version: “Ibland far jag fragan ‘hur stor marknadsavdelning har du? ‘ Mitt svar blir: ingen. Det ar ett slags botten upp-filosofi, som dikteras av kravet pa oss att vara totalt marknadsanpassade. ” Christer Ugander, Europachef pa Cap Gemini i 1989 . 73 Gronroos, C. , Service Management and Marketing, 2000 74 Gummesson, Evert, The part-time marketer, Forskningsrapport / Hogskolan i Karlstad, 90:3, 1999 75 Zeithaml, Valarie A. and Bitner, Mary Jo, Services Marketing, 1996; Lovelock, Christopher H. Services marketing: people, technology, strategy, 2000 ; Alvesson, Mats, Management of knowledge-intensive companies, Berlin, New York, 1995 76 Ibid 77 Gummesson, Evert, The New Marketing – Developing long-term Interactive Relationships, Long range planning, 4, (1987) 78 Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing,2000; Lovelock, Christopher H. , Services marketing: people, technology, strategy, 2000 ; Gummesson, Evert, The part-time 22 this marketing attitude79. He claims that “(…) it (the marketing attitude) has to be understood and accepted by everyone, (…) marketing should, first of all, be an attitude of mind. …)”80. This is also what Sveiby emphasizes in his book Kunskapsledning – 101 rad till ledare I kunskapsintensiva organisationer. He asks for the explicit training of all employees and for making them aware of their inherent marketing function81. This implies that they take a hierarchy in the organization as a starting point with the managers who are responsible for the marketing functions of the single project workers. Furthermore it implies that the involved persons are actively aware of their marketing functions. This is the point of my purpose, to show that this is not necessarily the case in practice.
That there is no explicit marketing consciousness and that therefore the triangle has to be transformed to something else in order to be applicable for my empirical results. How this something else looks like will become clearer in the course of my argumentation. With an overall understanding of the model the service marketing triangle and the theorists’ idea of its implication in practice we can now turn to analyze in more detail the three functions, starting with internal marketing in the next chapter. marketer, Forskningsrapport / Hogskolan i Karlstad, 90:3, 1999 ; Zeithaml, Valarie A. nd Bitner, Mary Jo, Services Marketing, 1996 79 Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing, 2000, 80 Gronroos, Christian, Service Management and Marketing, 2000 81 Sveiby, Karl Erik, Kunskapsledning – 101 rad till ledare i kunskapsintensiva organisationer, 1991 23 4. Internal Marketing In this first part of my argumentation for a new form of service marketing in my cases the relations inside the company will be treated. First I present what the theory proposes how internal marketing should look like and then I will explode it and develop a new way of looking at internal marketing. . 1 Internal marketing in theory FIRM Internal marketing External marketing EMPLOYEES Interactive marketing CUSTOMERS Figure 4. 1 Internal Marketing in the Service Marketing Triangle The internal marketing function is the basic prerequisite that the project workers should fulfil in order to be effective in their work. According to Gronroos the meaning of internal marketing is that the management in a hierarchical organization has to develop, from the top, motivated and customer-conscious employees82.
It refers to all those planned and unplanned activities the firm carries out to train, motivate and reward its employees so that they are able and willing to deliver the promise which the external marketing function communicates to the customers83. The authors pronounce the need of training the personnel and making them aware of their basic marketing philosophy in order to fulfil this internal marketing: “(…) internally, continuous training of the employees is important (…)”84, as example.
Gronroos, Christian, Internal Marketing – An Integral Part of Marketing, 2001 Zeithaml, Valarie A. and Bitner, Mary Jo, Services Marketing, 1996 84 Gronroos, Christian, Strategic Management and Marketing in the Service Sector, Lund, 1991, page 96 83 82 24 Besides the specific and planned training of the employees, unplanned activities are crucial for internal marketing to work85. What this means is that these are factors that are not necessarily based on any planned or conscious articulation or strategy.
As there are no planned internal marketing activities at all in which my interviewees take part in their organization the unplanned factors will be examined in more detail in the following lines. The culture within the organization influences the personnel indirectly. To understand the concept of culture, it follows a very comprehensive definition from Gronroos: “(…) corporate culture can be defined as the pattern of shared values and beliefs that give the members of an organization meaning, and provide them with the rules for behaviour in the organization.
Culture represents values that can be thought of as residing deep in the organization. It is not easy to see, but it is always present. (…)”86 Normann sustains this argumentation with his reasoning that in internal marketing it is important that all members of the organization stand behind the organization’s core idea87, how he calls it. His argument is that it is this core idea which the personnel will sell to the customers and therefore it needs general acceptance88.
Summarizing, this means that the personnel have to be motivated, and live the organizations philosophy, its core idea. A positive atmosphere in the organization creates satisfaction and this internal satisfaction will then lead logically to a better interactive marketing, which is, how I think, the core of internal marketing. Another aspect for the internal marketing function to work is that effective internal communication is needed. “(…) A major cause of poor perceived service is the gap between what a firm promises about a service and what it actually delivers. …)” 89. I understand this in such a way that coordination and internal communication between the several employees or partners is required, which often takes place in form of several meetings and project newsletters. The other aspect of internal communication is that it helps to keep the culture alive. Lovelock describes it the following way: 85 86 Gronroos, Christian, Strategic Management and Marketing in the Service Sector, Lund, 1991 Ibid, page 356 87 Normann, Richard, Service Management, 2000, page 194 88 Ibid 89 Zeithaml, Valarie A. nd Bitner, Mary Jo, Services Marketing, 1996 25 “(…) Internal communications (…) play a vital role in maintaining and nurturing a corporate culture (…). “90 This implies that internal marketing is especially important to achieve productive and harmonious working relationships among project workers and other colleagues as a basis for delivering good service to the clients. 4. 2 Internal marketing in my study – empirical findings Organization The theory takes a top-down structure in the organization as a starting point.
In the course of my interviews I found out that the organizational structure is in its bases very similar within all the nine cases, but not at all like proposed in the theory. “In our company all members are equal, we are partners who altogether control and guide the company with the help of partner meetings. All important questions are developed jointly in the partner meetings, and everyone is free to do his job alone. ” Moritz M. “We have no hierarchy in our organization; all the partners are on the same level and have the same rights and duties. Lasse L. “Our organization is rather informal; all partners have the same position. ” Anna A. The organizational form in these companies is a flat one. There is no hierarchy as assumed in the service marketing triangle. I understand that this implies a lot of freedom and flexibility to the single partners but on the other side also more responsibility lying on their shoulders, which is sustained by the next quotations: “Everything happens on a voluntary basis, people help if they have time and feel committed, which can be both: frustrating and positive. Emil E. “Our whole concept is based on interrelation; we have a very flexible structure, which leaves a lot of freedom to all members, as we only have a few full-time workers. ” Trine T. What can be concluded from these quotations is, in my eyes, that the main characteristics of their organizational form are freedom, flexibility, equality, interrelation. In the majority of the cases is one of many equal partners. 90 Lovelock, Christopher, Services Marketing, People, Technology, Strategy, 2000, page 286 26
With the non-existence of a structured, hierarchical organizational form comes the need of something else which ties the personnel and the members of these organizations together. This leads us directly to the next topic about corporate culture. Culture Corporate culture, which is referred to as a system of company-intern values, rules and norms, behavioural patterns, the atmosphere, symbols and much more, is of great importance for the project workers in my eyes, which I sustain through several quotations: “The most striking characteristics of our company are its warmth and friendliness.
It always creates an atmosphere that encourages all our colleagues and participants to listen to each other, share ideas, argue and discuss how to develop in stimulating and exciting ways. (… )” Erik E. As I see this, the corporate culture in this company, where Erik E. works, is a basis of shared values which determine what people in the organization think and appreciate. The external focus is that the client feels this warmth and friendliness which of course only has positive effects on the working atmosphere and the client’s satisfaction. I would say it is difficult to describe our culture because it is something that exists, but cannot be grasped, it is there, implicit, it is very strong, with norms and values such as deep relations, honesty and closeness. ” Anna A. “We have a learning culture, which is not instrumental, everybody contributes to it in our company, and this is our competitive advantage. ” Julius J. How I understand these quotations is that the interviewees’ and the companies’ strength is their corporate culture because it resides inside every individual and in the group of members.
It is not something that is imposed from above, but some kind of soul inherent in every individual member which gives the organization its aura. This is so important because service providers have to have and develop positive attitudes towards giving service. “I would like to state, that we have very strong unwritten values in our company. We try to live these values by always informing each other, helping whenever necessary and building working teams. ” Moritz M. 27 Moritz talks about the company’s culture when mentioning unwritten values.
He stresses the importance of communication and interaction within the company in order to keep these values alive. This is the link to the next topic within internal marketing I would like to present. Internal communication I start with a quotation from one of my interviewees: “Knowledge development and experience exchange are very important parts of our business. We accomplish this at our different meetings and conferences for our network and through our brochures, papers and joint development projects. ” Bjorn B.
The transfer of knowledge and in general communication means interaction between the partners. In a more general sense, the personnel play the most important role in the organization. I understand what this interviewee said about the communication in his company in such a way that the knowledge the different members have is mainly spread through personal contact, called generic strategy, not through written media as an intranet, for example. This is also important for a new member which is not part of the existing culture in the company or at least has not breathed its air yet.
This new member will become part of that culture through the different meetings and conferences, the personal contact to the other members of the organization. Besides this generic strategy, internal communication is kept up with the help of meetings, newsletters and reports. “(…) one of the three in our headquarter sends out weekly newsletters and the CEO informs through headquarter newsletters. But mainly our communication is based on personal meetings, formal and informal, as many of us also spend their free-time together. ” Marika M. This quotation from Marika highlights the strong focus on personal relations etween the single members in a company. What I see as central here, is that there are written forms of communication, but mainly the knowledge-transfer happens through personal contacts. We understand now how important communication, corporate culture and the organizational form are for the internal marketing function. Instead of an organized hierarchy the project workers I interviewed are tied together through common values and thorough personal contacts and communication. 28 But all these actions and processes happen unplanned and without any strategic marketing background, in my cases.
These elements do not have the aim of creating a profound basis for the interactive marketing, and in order to be in line with the external marketing. 4. 3 Internal marketing – conclusions for my analysis What I want to clarify with these empirical findings and their interpretation is that internal marketing cannot be understood totally from the perspective we had in the theoretical part. The existence of the marketing function internal marketing becomes clear and how it is embodied will be analyzed in more detail in the following.
In the theory internal marketing takes place between the firm and the employees, who are, in my case, the project workers. Internal marketing is connected to some kind of hierarchy; it is steered and imposed from above, from the management to the employees. Considering the flat, flexible organizational structure this concept cannot be applied on my findings. All members in the organizations are equal, which means that internal marketing is not top-down but that it is embodied between and within the group of members in the organizations.
There is no hierarchy, internal marketing has no strategy, it is unplanned and expressed through the interaction between the employees. To explain more clearly: internal marketing exists, but it resides silently in the individual and in the group This implies that the corners FIRM and EMPLOYEES can be considered as one. They are on the same level and are connected through several bonds. The single project worker is part of a group of members in the organization who are all related through common values, which reside in the culture of the organization.
These values, unwritten norms and rules are the links that tie the project workers to the organization and their colleagues. All these characteristics have in common that they exist, but the project workers are unconscious of the fact that they make up the internal marketing. As the organizational structure is rather loose this is the bond that ties all the members together. There is no planned internal marketing, the project workers are not aware of their function as internal marketers when living the culture, passing it on to new 29 embers, communicating with other members and living the company’s values. It is hidden, but still it exists. The basis for an internal marketing as the authors of service marketing theory demand it reside inside the individual project workers. But it resides not only in the individuals, also in the interaction between the members. Communication demands two sides and the same with culture. The culture is embodied in the individual project worker but simultaneously it is described as the company’s soul, which is inherent in the whole organization.
After this line of analysis and argumentation I would like to introduce a new way of looking at internal marketing in the form of a model. We have to think in a circle when visualizing the internal marketing, not in a hierarchical order like in the triangle. project worker Figure 4. 2 How Internal Marketing Looks Like in Practice I chose a circle since it symbolizes the equality between the members in the organization, its flat structure and the notion that the firm and the employees are understood to be one. Furthermore it highlights that the single project worker is a part of one big group, connected through several bonds.
These are their communication and their unique organizational culture. If the employees, the project workers, are satisfied with their job, this satisfaction radiates on the client’s satisfaction. 30 This is the basis for an effective internal marketing, which has been presented and analysed in this chapter. And here a second party comes into consideration: the client. Let us now turn to the interactive marketing part. 31 5. Interactive Marketing In this chapter about interactive marketing a theoretical background is given first, based on the theory of service marketing.
Then I will analyze and argument with help of my empirical findings that the implementation of this theory cannot be applied in practice as proposed by the authors. 5. 1 Interactive marketing in theory FIRM Internal marketing External marketing EMPLOYEES Interactive marketing CUSTOMERS Figure 5. 1 Interactive marketing in the service marketing triangle After the empirical research had been conducted I decided that it would be best to divide up the interactive marketing into three phases, which merge into one another.
The first phase begins with a first contact, goes over to the project-phase and ends in after-sales, which hopefully leads to new first contacts. This division is the basis for the analysis of the interactive marketing. All three phases interactive marketing are overlapping with the theory of relationship management and marketing. The core idea of both is the importance of face-to-face contact between client and project worker and the aim of building networks of relations for maintaining and creating possible future assignments91.
Alvesson, Mats, Kunskapsarbete och Kunskapsforetag, Liber, Malmo, 2000, page 30; Gronroos, Christian, Relationship Marketing, interaction, dialogue and value, Helsingfors, 1997; Zeithaml, Valarie A. and Bitner, Mar