The effects of internal marketing on job satisfaction and organizational commitment in Taipei sports centers

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  • This article was downloaded by: [Ume University Library]On: 19 November 2014, At: 07:03Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Journal of Global Scholars of MarketingScience: Bridging Asia and the WorldPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rgam20

    The effects of internal marketing onjob satisfaction and organizationalcommitment in Taipei sports centersWeisheng Chiua, Nam-Heung Choa & Doyeon Wonaa Department of Sport and Leisure Studies, Yonsei University,Seoul, South KoreaPublished online: 19 Feb 2014.

    To cite this article: Weisheng Chiu, Nam-Heung Cho & Doyeon Won (2014) The effects of internalmarketing on job satisfaction and organizational commitment in Taipei sports centers, Journalof Global Scholars of Marketing Science: Bridging Asia and the World, 24:2, 206-222, DOI:10.1080/21639159.2014.881609

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  • The effects of internal marketing on job satisfaction and organizationalcommitment in Taipei sports centers

    Weisheng Chiu, Nam-Heung Cho and Doyeon Won*

    Department of Sport and Leisure Studies, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea

    (Received 11 October 2013; final version received 22 December 2013)

    The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships among internal marketing, jobsatisfaction, and organizational commitment of employees in the context of the sportsservice industry. All employees of public sports centers in Taipei City participated in thisstudy, and the data (n 261) were subsequently analyzed. The results show that internalmarketing has a positive influence on job satisfaction among employees, and that jobsatisfaction in turn has a positive influence on the organizational commitment ofemployees. Although a direct relationship between internal marketing and organizationalcommitment among employees was not found, a full mediation effect of job satisfactionbetween the factors was revealed. The findings of this study clarify the relationships andverify the mechanisms at work among internal marketing, job satisfaction, andorganizational commitment of employees. Academically, the study fills the gap in sportsmanagement literature regarding the role of internal marketing for sports services. Thestudy alsoprovides practical implications for sports centermanagers to implement internalmarketing in sports centers, and thereby provide better-quality service for customers.

    Keywords: internalmarketing; job satisfaction; organizational commitment; Taipei sportcenter; service quality

    (Doyle, 1994)

    (Gummesson, 1987)

    (Berry & Parasuraman, 2000) (Heskett & Schlesinger, 1994; Schneider & Bowen, 1993)

    (, Davis, 2005;

    Martinez, Stinson, & Jubenville, 2011; Seok, 2011)

    1

    23

    4

    q 2014 Korean Scholars of Marketing Science

    *Corresponding author. Email: dwon@yonsei.ac.kr

    Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science, 2014

    Vol. 24, No. 2, 206222, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21639159.2014.881609

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    mailto:dwon@yonsei.ac.krmailto:dwon@yonsei.ac.krhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21639159.2014.881609

  • (n 261)121

    5(CFA)(SEM)

    1

    32

    4

    ;;;;

    1. Introduction

    In service industries, internal marketing is regarded as a method of improving service

    quality for customers. The concept of internal marketing originates in the field of

    marketing research in the service industry (Berry, 1981; Gronroos, 1981), and internal

    marketing is proposed as a solution to the question of how to deliver consistently high-

    quality service for customers and users (Berry, 1981). In addition, Greene, Walls, and

    Schrest (1994) hold that internal marketing is the key to better service, emphasizing that it

    is a required condition for effective external marketing. Scholars have found evidence

    supporting the view that the implementation of internal marketing in an organization is an

    essential component of successful service industry operations (Choi, Baek, & Kang, 2013;

    Gronroos, 1990; Jaworski & Kohli, 1993; Rafiq & Ahmed, 2000).

    The precepts of internal marketing emphasize that organizations should treat, value,

    and respect employees from the perspective of internal customers (Longbottom, Osseo-

    Asare, Chourides, & Murphy, 2006) in order to attract, develop, motivate, and retain

    qualified employees (Berry & Parasuraman, 2000). Internal marketing has been widely

    studied in previous research, and the concept is essential to organizations in the service

    industry because it is related to job satisfaction and organizational commitment among

    employees (Siddiqi, 2013; Sihombing & Gustam, 2007). Theorists have already noted the

    importance of employee satisfaction and commitment in retaining employees working in

    service industries, as well as the importance of employee retention to the success of

    service-oriented organizations (Heskett & Schlesinger, 1994; Schneider & Bowen, 1993).

    When the needs of employees are satisfied, the employees are in turn more likely to satisfy

    the needs of external customers (Chung & Kim, 2003; Greene et al., 1994). The particular

    characteristic of organizational commitment among employees has been identified as an

    important variable in understanding the work behavior of employees in organizations

    (Lee, Kwon, & Lee, 2007). Therefore, for the benefit of both the organization and its

    employees, organizations must focus on cultivating organizational commitment among

    employees (Chelladurai, 1999).

    Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science 207

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  • Although the importance of internal marketing in service industries has been widely

    investigated, studies on the role of internal marketing in sports services are limited in

    number, and only a few studies have examined the significance of internal marketing in

    sports as a service industry (Davis, 2005; Martinez, Stinson, & Jubenville, 2011;

    Novatorov, Kim, Wall, & Crompton, 1998; Seok, 2011). Indeed, the role played by

    internal marketing in service industries may translate to sports centers. Customers of

    sports and leisure centers have increased expectations of greater personal benefits as a

    result of their participation in sports, as well as expectations of quality in sports services

    (Howat, Absher, Crilley, & Milne, 1996). Many private fitness clubs in Taipei City are

    expanding their facilities and locations on a continual basis. Due to increased competition

    from these private fitness clubs, with their superior facilities, Taipei sports centers are

    facing a huge threat to their core business. To attract new members and retain current

    customers, Taipei sports centers must provide better services, to meet and exceed the

    expectations of their customers (Mullin, Hardy, & Sutton, 2007; Oh, Lee, & Kim, 2011).

    Moreover, Taipei is the first city to operate public sports centers in Taiwan. In the coming

    years, more and more public sports centers will be established in many other places in

    Taiwan. Consequently, the operation and management of employees of Taipei sports

    centers could be taken as a model by the rest of the cities in Taiwan. Thus, understanding

    the impact of internal marketing in sports centers is necessary for sport managers to

    improve organizational effectiveness through employees in order for sports centers to

    possess greater competitive capabilities in the market.

    Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to propose and test an empirical model

    linking internal marketing, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment among

    employees, and to examine the influence of internal marketing on employee job

    satisfaction and organizational commitment in Taipei sports centers. The findings of this

    study may offer practical implications and contributions to the literature about the

    management of customer service in sports.

    2. A brief overview of Taipei sports centers

    Aiming to implement the ideal of Sports for All and following the trend to build a

    Healthy City (Taipei City Government, 2002), the Taipei City Government established

    12 sports centers, one in each of its 12 districts, to meet its citizens demand for public

    sports and leisure spaces. Currently, all of the sports centers are established and

    operational based on an operate-and-transfer (OT) model. The OT model is a type of

    publicprivate partnership. Financed, designed, and constructed by the government, the

    sports centers are commissioned for operation and management by the private sector.

    After the sports centers have operated for a specified period of time, ownership is

    transferred back to the government (Kumaraswamy & Morris, 2002). The sports centers

    are mainly equipped with swimming pools, weight-training rooms, dancing rooms, and

    multipurpose courts for recreational sports.

    3. Conceptual framework and hypotheses

    3.1 Internal marketing

    Berry (1981) initially defined internal marketing as viewing employees as internal

    customers, viewing jobs as internal products that satisfy the needs and wants of these

    internal customers while addressing the objectives of the organization (p. 25).

    Gummesson (2000) suggested that internal marketing is a strategic operation that

    W. Chiu et al.208

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  • combines marketing and human resources management in order for employees to provide

    better service to customers.

    Typically, internal marketing activities are identified and categorized to provide a

    framework for evaluating their implications and effectiveness (Gronroos, 1990). Many

    studies in internal marketing literature have identified key elements of internal marketing

    (Ahmed, Rafiq, & Saad, 2003; Conduit &Mavondo, 2001; Foreman &Money, 1995). The

    current study adopts the five dimensions of a study by Conduit and Mavondo (2001)

    market training and education, management support, internal communication, personnel

    management, and external communication to measure internal marketing in the field of

    sports services.

    3.2 Job satisfaction

    Job satisfaction is perhaps the most commonly discussed topic in research about the

    service industry. At the same time, researchers have made several attempts to define and

    describe the concept of job satisfaction. The essence of all these definitions, as Dawis and

    Lofquist (1984) pointed out, is that job satisfaction is a pleasurable affective condition

    resulting from ones appraisal of the way in which the experienced job situation meets

    ones needs, value, and expectations (p. 72).

    Moreover, researchers have suggested that job satisfaction can be divided into two

    constructs: intrinsic and extrinsic satisfaction (Hirschfeld, 2000; Porter & Lawler, 1968;

    Wanous, 1974; Wernimont, 1966). Intrinsic job satisfaction describes how people feel

    about the nature of the tasks involved in the job itself, whereas extrinsic job satisfaction is

    how people feel about aspects of the work situation or environment that are external to the

    job tasks or the work itself (Porter & Lawler, 1968; Spector, 1997; Wernimont, 1966). In

    order to measure intrinsic and extrinsic satisfaction, Spector (1997) developed the 20-item

    short-form Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) (Weiss, Dawis, England, &

    Lofquist, 1967), which has become a popular measure of various facets of work. The

    questionnaire is frequently used in job satisfaction research to measure job satisfaction

    among employees.

    3.3 Organizational commitment

    The concept of organizational commitment has become an important research topic in the

    field of organizational behaviors since it was first proposed by Whyte (1956). Buchanan

    (1974) asserted that organizational commitment describes situations in which an

    individual is attached emotionally to an organization, including identification of the

    individual with organizational objectives and values, mental devotion to and concentration

    on a job role, and loyalty to and affection for the organization. Additionally, employees

    identification with an organization may be regarded as their psychological attachment to

    the organization (OReilly & Chatman, 1986). A study by Mowday, Porter, and Steers

    (1982) suggests that when there is a high-level linkage of individual commitment to an

    organization, the phenomenon leads to good results for both the individual and the

    organization. Thus, when employees of sports centers have a high level of commitment to

    their center, this characteristic indicates that the employees are involved and devoted.

    Porter, Steers, Mowday, and Boulian (1974) and Trimble (2006) asserted that

    organizational commitment is an attitude and defined it as the degree of an individuals

    identification with and devotion to a specific organization, including (1) value

    commitment: the strong belief of an individual in organizational objectives and values;

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  • (2) effort commitment: the willingness of an individual to dedicate greater personal efforts

    to benefit the organization; and (3) retention commitment: the willingness of an individual

    to remain a member of an organization on a long-term basis. The three constructs of value

    commitment, effort commitment, and retention commitment are utilized in this study.

    3.4 Relationship between internal marketing and job satisfaction

    Based on the concept of internalmarketing, an organization that tries its best to apply internal

    marketing in order to satisfy its employees will provide a positive influence and improve job

    satisfaction among employees (Conduit & Mavondo, 2001; Rafiq & Ahmed, 2000). The

    results of many empirical studies have also found that internal marketing enhances the job

    satisfaction of employees (Shiu & Yu, 2010; Tansuhaj, Randall, & McCullough, 1991;

    Trimble, 2006). Accordingly, we establish the first hypothesis to be tested:

    Hypothesis 1: Internal marketing has a positive influence on the job satisfaction of

    employees.

    3.5 Relationship between internal marketing and organizational commitment

    The successful implementation of internal marketing in organizations will not only

    enhance employee job satisfaction but also influence employee behavior, including

    organizational commitment (Tansuhaj et al., 1991). Hogg (1996) suggested that when

    traditional internal communications programs fail, internal marketing is the best approach

    to foster employee commitment. Numerous studies reveal that internal marketing is an

    antecedent to organizational commitment (e.g., Bansal, Mendelson, & Sharma, 2001;

    Caruana & Calleya, 1998; Farzad, Nahavandi, & Caruana, 2008). Based on the above, the

    study proposes the second hypothesis:

    Hypothesis 2: Internal marketing has a positive influence on organizational

    commitment among employees.

    3.6 Relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment

    The most widely accepted viewpoint on the concept of job satisfaction is that job

    satisfaction influences employees commitment to an organization (Brooke, Russell, &

    Price, 1988; Mowday et al., 1982; Trimble, 2006; Williams & Anderson, 1991).

    Accordingly, job satisfaction is a determinant of organizational commitment among

    employees. Previous research has suggested that job satisfaction has a positive influence

    on commitment (e.g., Brown & Peterson, 1993; Moss, McFarland, Ngu, & Kijowska,

    2007; Vandenberg & Lance, 1992). Thus, this study proposes the third hypothesis:

    Hypothesis 3: Job satisfaction has a positive influence on organizational commitment

    among employees.

    3.7 Mediation of job satisfaction

    As discussed, internal marketing has a direct and positive influence on job satisfaction, and

    job satisfaction has a direct and positive influence on organizational commitment among

    employees. But what is the role of job satisfaction in terms of internal marketing and

    organizational commitment? A study by Baron and Kenny (1986) indicated that all active

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  • organisms are actively involved in the process of inputoutput or stimulationreaction. If

    the process of internal marketing is defined as stimulation, and organizational commitment

    is defined as a reaction, then employees are organisms with expectations, motivations, and

    judgments. Upon encountering stimulation, individuals first transform the stimulation

    through expectations, motivations, and judgments; finally, the individuals react. In other

    words, when the internal marketing of an organization fails to bring out high levels of job

    satisfaction among employees, the employees will not react with high levels of

    organizational commitment.

    Ting (2011) proposed that successful internal marketing should enhance employee job

    satisfaction through human resources management strategies to influence employee

    behaviors. Consequently, the employees will be satisfied and proud of being part of the

    organization. Previous studies have shown the direct relationship between internal

    marketing and organizational commitment, but the mediating variables between internal

    marketing and organizational commitment have remained unclear. For these reasons, this

    study suggests that there are mediating effects of job satisfaction on the relationship

    between internal marketing and organizational commitment. Thus, this study proposes the

    fourth hypothesis:

    Hypothesis 4: Job satisfaction has mediating effects on the relationship between

    internal marketing and organizational commitment.

    The conceptual framework is shown in Figure 1. H1 shows that internal marketing has

    a positive influence on employee job satisfaction. H2 shows that internal marketing has a

    positive influence on organizational commitment among employees. H3 shows that job

    satisfaction has a positive influence on the organizational commitment of employees.

    4. Methods

    4.1 Participants

    A census method was conducted in this study, and participants were drawn from the

    employees (n 284) at each of 12 public sport centers in Taipei City. After eliminatingthe invalid responses from a total of 284 returned questionnaires, 261 successfully

    H3

    H1

    H2Internal

    Marketing

    Job Satisfaction

    OrganizationalCommitment

    Figure 1. Conceptual framework of the relationship among internal marketing, job satisfaction,and organizational commitment.

    Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science 211

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  • completed questionnaires were included in the data analysis. Of the total participants,

    51.3% (n 134) were male and 48.7% (n 127) were female. In addition, 71.3% ofparticipants were under 30 years old, 23.3% of participants were employed at the

    managerial level, and most of the participants held a college degree or above (90.8%).

    4.2 Measures

    The survey instrument was established based on a review of existing literature. The three

    sections of the instrument pertain to internal marketing, job satisfaction, and

    organizational commitment. The 20-item internal marketing scale was adopted and

    modified from a study by Conduit and Mavondo (2001). The five constructs for internal

    marketing are: (1) training and education; (2) management support; (3) internal

    communication; (4) personnel management; and (5) external communication.

    Job satisfaction includes two constructs: measures of intrinsic and extrinsic job

    satisfaction. The 20-item short form of the MSQ (Spector, 1997), as modified from a study

    by Weiss et al. (1967), was used to measure employee perceptions of intrinsic and

    extrinsic job satisfaction.

    The 15-item Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) was used to measure

    the level of employee commitment to the organizations, and respondents were employed

    at the time of participation. The OCQ, developed by Porter and Lawler (1968), was

    designed to capture three dimensions of employee commitment to an organization,

    including (1) value commitment; (2) effort commitment; and (3) retention commitment.

    The format for the instrument was a five-point Likert scale, with scores ranging from (1)

    strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree.

    4.3 Data analysis

    Both the measurement model and the proposed empirical model were tested through

    confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) procedures in

    the AMOS statistical package. CFA was conducted to test the reliability and validity of

    measurement and SEM was employed to examine the conceptual model. The parameters

    of the models were estimated via maximum likelihood estimation, and the research

    hypotheses were tested by AMOS 18.0.

    5. Results

    5.1 Scale reliability and validity

    Content validity was established through a review of existing literature and through a

    panel of practitioners and researchers. Subsequently, a CFA was conducted to examine the

    results of the measurements. Table 1 shows the results of the CFA. The measurement

    results met the criteria suggested by Hu and Bentler (1999) and yielded an acceptable

    model fit (x 2 1104.8, df 515, RMSEA 0.068, TLI 0.905, CFI 0.918).Additionally, scale reliability and validity were assessed.

    Scale reliability was investigated using item reliability and composite reliability.

    Regarding item reliability, with the exception of the personnel management dimension of

    internal marketing, the reliability values of the other items were between 0.561 and 0.815,

    higher than the recommended value of 0.5 proposed by Bollen (1989). This demonstrates

    that the items overall have a certain degree of item reliability. As for composite reliability,

    the values of the composite reliability items were between 0.8 and 0.9, all greater than the

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  • criterion of 0.6 suggested by Fornell and Larcker (1981). This demonstrates the good

    composite reliability of the items. With regard to convergent validity, the factor loadings

    of the construct indicators were all above 0.5. Cronbachs alpha values were all over 0.7,

    except for the personnel management dimension of internal marketing. The AVE values

    were all greater than 0.5. Most of the values met the criteria suggested by Hair, Anderson,

    Tatham, and Black (2009). Thus these results exhibit good reliability and validity of

    measurements (Table 2).

    Next, Pearson correlations among variables were calculated to determine the linear

    relationships between these constructs (Table 3). All the values were under 0.8, which

    indicates that these constructs are not highly correlated. This result reveals that collinearity

    does not exist in this studys measurement.

    5.2 Direct effects in the structure model

    According to the results of SEM analysis, the conceptual model showed an adequate fit

    with x 2 77.466, df 32, RMSEA 0.074, TLI 0.965, and CFI 0.975 (Hu &

    Table 1. Results of CFA for measures.

    Measures Constructs x 2 df TLI CFI RMSEA

    Internal marketing Training and education 240.4 80 0.914 0.935 0.071Management supportInternal communicationPersonnel managementExternal communication

    Job satisfaction Intrinsic satisfaction 78.9 19 0.934 0.955 0.072Extrinsic satisfaction

    Organizationalcommitment

    Value 128.1 51 0.960 0.969 0.066

    EffortRetention

    Overall measurementmodel

    1104.8 515 0.905 0.918 0.068

    Table 2. Factor loadings, Cronbachs alpha, composite reliability, and average variance extractedfor measurement.

    Factorloading

    Itemreliability

    Cronbachsalpha

    Compositereliability (CR)

    Average varianceextracted (AVE)

    Internal marketing 0.872 0.577Training and education 0.774 0.599 0.878Management support 0.758 0.575 0.815Internal communication 0.840 0.706 0.865Personnel management 0.668 0.446 0.667External communication 0.749 0.561 0.844Job satisfaction 0.882 0.790Intrinsic satisfaction 0.874 0.764 0.923Extrinsic satisfaction 0.903 0.815 0.902Organizationalcommitment

    0.877 0.705

    Value 0.844 0.712 0.923Effort 0.873 0.762 0.850Retention 0.800 0.640 0.900

    Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science 213

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  • Table

    3.

    Resultsofmeans,standarddeviation,andcorrelationsofeach

    construct.

    TE

    MS

    ICPM

    EC

    ISES

    VL

    EF

    RE

    Trainingandedu.(TE)

    Managem

    entsupport(M

    S)

    0.60**

    Internal

    comm.(IC)

    0.62**

    0.64**

    Personnel

    mgmt(PM)

    0.52**

    0.41**

    0.62**

    External

    comm.(EC)

    0.56**

    0.54**

    0.67**

    0.51**

    Intrinsicsatisfaction(IS)

    0.61**

    0.56**

    0.56**

    0.45**

    0.51**

    Extrinsicsatisfaction(ES)

    0.61**

    0.66**

    0.63**

    0.50**

    0.58**

    0.79**

    Value(V

    L)

    0.59**

    0.58**

    0.53**

    0.45**

    0.52**

    0.76**

    0.73**

    Effort(EF)

    0.61**

    0.62**

    0.55**

    0.50**

    0.51**

    0.69**

    0.73**

    0.73**

    Retention(RE)

    0.53**

    0.48**

    0.45**

    0.40**

    0.41**

    0.68**

    0.68**

    0.70**

    0.69**

    Mean

    3.50

    3.81

    3.42

    3.44

    3.36

    3.56

    3.41

    3.41

    3.64

    3.52

    S.D.

    0.82

    0.78

    0.79

    0.76

    0.73

    0.68

    0.68

    0.82

    0.72

    0.92

    **p,

    0.01.

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  • Bentler, 1999). The path from internal marketing to job satisfaction was statistically

    significant (b 0.844; t 12.645; p , 0.001). This indicates that a favorable perceptionof internal marketing was associated with increased job satisfaction among employees.

    Thus, H1 is supported. Moreover, job satisfaction was positively associated with

    organizational commitment (b 0.943; t 8.730; p , 0.001), so H3 is also supported.The path from internal marketing to organizational commitment, however, was not

    significant (b 0.012; t 0.121; p , 0.001), and H2 is therefore rejected (Figure 2).

    5.3 The mediation effect of job satisfaction

    To test the mediation hypothesis (H4) in the conceptual model, an adaptation of Baron and

    Kennys (1986) method was employed by using the SEM and bootstrap methods (Shrout

    & Bolger, 2002) to test for mediation effects. In the present study, a confidence interval of

    indirect effects of 95% was obtained with 2000 bootstrap resamples. It should be noted

    that an indirect effect is significant at p , 0.05 if the 95% confidence intervals do notinclude the value of zero.

    As shown in Table 4, these results indicate the existence of a mediation effect of

    job satisfaction between internal marketing and organizational commitment among

    .943***

    .844***

    .012Internal

    Marketing

    Job Satisfaction

    OrganizationalCommitment

    Figure 2. AMOS Standardized coefficient for Conceptual model.

    Table 4. Results of mediation effect of job satisfaction.

    Effect Estimate 95% CI (Bias-corrected) p

    a 0.844 (0.668, 0.913) 0.001b 0.943 (0.700, 1.324) 0.002c0 0.012 (20.262, 0.239) 0.886a b 0.786 (0.581, 1.091) 0.001C 0.798

    a Direct effect (internal marketing ! job satisfaction)b Direct effect (job satisfaction ! organizational commitment)c0 Direct effect (internal marketing ! organizational commitment)a b indirect effect (mediation effect)c Total effectCI confidence interval, ***p , 0.001.

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  • employees (95% CI 0.5811.091, p 0.001). Moreover, the indirect effect wasstatistically significant, while the direct path between internal marketing and organiza-

    tional commitment was not statistically significant. This may suggest that the relationship

    between internal marketing and organizational commitment is totally mediated by

    intervening variables (specifically, job satisfaction), a finding that is consistent with those

    of Baron and Kenny (1986).

    5.4 Competing model

    As discussed above, the variable of job satisfaction is expected to have a full mediation

    effect between internal marketing and organizational commitment. To confirm the

    mediation effect of job satisfaction, this study created a competing model (i.e., a fully

    mediated model) in which the direct path between internal marketing and organizational

    commitment was removed. As shown in Table 5, this model was compared with the

    original conceptual model (i.e., the partially mediated model). Moreover, the results of

    chi-square tests show that the difference between the chi-square values of the two models

    is 0.015 when the degree of freedom increased from 32 to 33, Dx 2 (1) 0.015 ,3.84,significant at a 0.05. This insignificant result indicates that the dropped path betweeninternal marketing and organizational commitment is not important in the original model

    (Steiger, Shapiro, & Browne, 1985). Thus the fully mediated model is utilized in this

    study.

    5.5 Testing for structural invariance

    To verify that the same SEMmodel is applicable across groups, a cross-validation test was

    conducted for model stability (Cudeck & Browne, 1983). The general object of the

    procedure is to test for structural invariance between the unconstrained models for all

    groups combined, then to test for structural invariance in models where certain parameters

    are constrained for the sake of equivalence between groups. If the chi-square difference

    statistic does not reveal a significant difference between the original and the constrained-

    equal models, then it is concluded that the structural model is invariant between the

    calibration and the validation samples. Accordingly, the model is cross-validated (Byrne,

    Shavelson, & Muthen, 1989). Thus, the total sample of this study (n 261) was split intomale (n 134) and female (n 127) samples for cross-validation tests.

    As a first step in the main equivalence tests, a simultaneous test of the unconstrained

    model (model 1) across the two groups was conducted (Table 6). Model 1 included no

    constraints on any of its parameters. The test revealed that the baseline model represents a

    fairly good fit across the groups: x 2 135.650, df 66, RMSEA 0.064, TLI 0.948,and CFI 0.962. The results show that the model is plausible across the two data setsfrom male and female participants. Subsequently, the values of the chi-square and degree

    of freedom in model 1 were used as a baseline model for a factor-loading model (model 2).

    Table 5. Comparison between the original model and the competing model.

    Model x 2 df Dx 2 TLI CFI RMSEA

    Original model 77.466 32 0.965 0.975 0.074Competing model 77.481 33 0.015 0.967 0.976 0.072

    Note. The competing model is the model without a direct pathway between internal marketing and organizationalcommitment.

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  • The chi-square difference between the two models was 3.611, with edf 7, whichresulted in an insignificant difference at the significance level of 0.05. This indicates that

    the null hypothesis of equality of loadings across the two groups was not rejected,

    supporting the invariance of model 1 and model 2. The subsequent models (36) were

    tested by the same method. The results are shown in Table 6. However, the results of the

    chi-square difference between model 4 and model 3 show a significant result ( p 0.03),indicating that the two models are not invariant. A study by Byrne et al. (1989) suggested

    that, under conditions of full invariance, the existence of partial variance is acceptable.

    Consequently, structural invariance is still supported because the influence of variant

    items is quite limited. Moreover, the values ofeCFI between the models were below 0.01,

    indicating the values are of no practical significance, according to Cheung and Rensvold

    (2002). Little (1997) also proposed that a value of eTLI % 0.05 indicates significantdifferences between models do not exist. Therefore, the results of these structural

    invariance tests indicate that the structural model used in this study was invariant across

    genders. Accordingly, the stability of the model is confirmed.

    6. Discussion

    This study incorporates previous research to investigate the relationships among internal

    marketing, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment of employees in the context of

    sports centers in Taipei City. Understanding the impact of internal marketing is important

    for sports centers to provide better services for customers. According to the findings of this

    research, discussion and suggestions are proposed as follows.

    First, the study found that internal marketing has a positive influence on job

    satisfaction, meaning H1 was supported. In addition, this study used aspects of employee

    training and education, management support, internal communication, personnel

    management, and external communication to measure internal marketing as a whole.

    Each of these aspects had high loadings on internal marketing (see Table 2). Therefore,

    emphasizing these five aspects could potentially enhance the organizational commitment

    of employees. This finding supports an essential tenet of internal marketing, which is to

    treat employees as customers and to meet the demands and needs of employees (Berry &

    Parasuraman, 2000). This is also consistent with the findings of several previous

    studies (Rafiq & Ahmed, 2000; Shiu & Yu, 2010; Trimble, 2006). In other words, the

    implementation of internal marketing can significantly enhance employees satisfaction

    with their jobs. In turn, increasing employees satisfaction with aspects of their jobs may

    prove to be beneficial to organizations in many areas, including reduced absenteeism,

    decreased turnover, and fewer work-related accidents among employees (Balzer et al.,

    1990). Moreover, employee satisfaction tends to improve job performance and

    productivity (Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985; McNeese-Smith, 1997).

    Table 6. Results of multi-group analysis.

    Model x 2 df edf ex 2 p CFI TLI RMSEA

    1. Unconstrained 135.650 66 0.000 0.962 0.948 0.0642. Measurement weights 139.261 73 7 3.611 0.823 0.964 0.955 0.0593. Structural weights 141.576 75 2 5.926 0.341 0.964 0.956 0.0594. Structural covariances 146.307 76 1 10.675 0.030 0.961 0.954 0.0605. Structural residuals 151.853 78 2 16.203 0.062 0.960 0.953 0.0606. Measurement residuals 159.158 88 10 23.508 0.696 0.961 0.960 0.056

    Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science 217

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  • Second, this study found no significant relationship between internal marketing and

    organizational commitment of employees, meaning H2 was rejected. This finding is

    inconsistent with the results of numerous previous studies in different service industries

    (Caruana & Calleya, 1998; Chang & Chang, 2009; Jaworski & Kohli, 1993; Tansuhaj

    et al., 1991). Such inconsistency may be attributed to the prevalence and mediation effects

    of job satisfaction. Previous empirical studies examined and showed only the direct

    relationship between internal marketing and organizational commitment. However, this

    study consists of factors of internal marketing, job satisfaction, and organizational

    commitment, evaluating the relationships among all three. A study by Ting (2011)

    suggested that even though a significant relationship between internal marketing and

    organizational commitment may exist, other factors remain to be investigated. Although

    the results herein reject H2, the findings reveal that the influence of other factors (e.g., job

    satisfaction) may be involved.

    As for the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment (H3),

    this study revealed that internal marketing has a significantly positive influence on job

    satisfaction, thereby supporting hypothesis 3. This finding confirms the viewpoint of many

    scholars (Brooke et al., 1988; Mowday et al., 1982; Trimble, 2006; Williams & Anderson,

    1991), in which job satisfaction has a meaningful impact on employees commitment to

    their organizations, as well as confirming the empirical results of numerous studies (e.g.,

    Brown & Peterson, 1993; DeCotiis & Summers, 1987; Moss et al., 2007; Vandenberg &

    Lance, 1992), in which job satisfaction is an antecedent of organizational commitment.

    The strong factor loading (b 0.943) of this path indicates the importance of jobsatisfaction to organizational commitment.

    The mediation effect of job satisfaction was consistent with the empirical results of a

    study by Ting (2011), meaning hypothesis 4 was confirmed. This study found that internal

    marketings influence on organizational commitment is not a simple relationship of input

    output or stimulationreaction; rather, the relationship is mediated by the relative levels of

    employee job satisfaction. Thus, the superior results of the fully mediated model compared

    to the partially mediated model (in terms of the mediating path from internal marketing to

    job satisfaction to organizational commitment) indicate the importance of the mediating

    effects of job satisfaction.

    While numerous studies have investigated both internal marketing and organizational

    commitment, the process through which internal marketing influences organizational

    commitment has remained unclear (Ting, 2011). Therefore, this study makes several

    academic contributions that not only extend the influential scope of the internal marketing

    theory to organizational commitment, but also suggest that job satisfaction is an important

    antecedent of organizational commitment. Additionally, this study clarifies the

    mechanisms that drive the link between internal marketing and organizational

    commitment among employees.

    6.1 Managerial implications

    Internal marketing has been proven as a method to improve the quality of customer service

    among employees (Gronroos, 1990). Although the quality of service in the sports industry

    has long been explored (Chelladurai, 1999; Howat et al., 1996), the concept of internal

    customers and the application of internal marketing has remained limited in the context of

    sports services. Based on the findings of this study, the effects of internal marketing on the

    organizational commitment of employees can be better understood in the context of sports

    center services.

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  • Accordingly, to enhance the organizational commitment of employees, sports center

    management should strengthen internal marketing activities for employees. Strengthening

    these activities would promote employees job satisfaction, which is helpful in promoting

    employees organizational commitment. Internal marketing should become an absolute

    strategy for sports centers. For example, John Caraccio, the CEO of World Gym Taiwan,

    once mentioned that all the employees of World Gym fitness centers, including trainers

    and administrative staff, are required to participate in internal and external training

    regularly in order to improve professional competence at all levels (ASIA Taipei

    International Sport Industry Forum, 2010). Sports centers might also hold regular

    workshops or educational training classes for employees to maintain high levels of service.

    Such implementation of internal marketing would allow sports centers to establish an

    organizational vision for managers, to provide training and development for employees, to

    enhance motivation and inspiration, and to retain employees.

    In addition, this study demonstrates that internal marketing influences organizational

    commitment among employees through the full mediation effects of an employees level

    of job satisfaction. It is inconsistent with the other service industries and indicates the

    significant importance of job satisfaction in the sport service industry. Accordingly, sports

    center managers should not neglect the attitudes of employees, particularly employees job

    satisfaction levels. Successful internal marketing activities in the sport service industry

    should promote employee job satisfaction and, consequently, lead to increased

    organizational commitment of employees.

    6.2 Limitations and suggestions

    The empirical model of this study was tested based on data obtained from employees at

    Taipei sports centers, which are public sports centers in an urban setting. Future research

    should collect data from different types of sports centers, such as private sports centers, in

    order to generalize the scope of the conceptual model. Moreover, future studies might also

    validate the conceptual model in other services within the sports industry, such as

    professional sports organizations or volunteer sports organizations, in order to generalize

    the findings of this research, as well as to clarify their relevance in the sports industry.

    This study found that internal marketing affects organizational commitment through

    job satisfaction as a mediator. However, due to the nature of jobs in service industries, it is

    suggested that other mediating and moderating variables such as job involvement, job

    motivation, and job design could be investigated to understand more about the relationship

    between internal marketing and organizational commitment in the service industry sector.

    Thus this study suggests that future research should include additional variables for

    analysis to probe the relationship between internal marketing and organizational

    commitment among employees.

    Finally, even though testing for structure invariance was conducted in this study, the

    cross-sectional data herein cannot sufficiently test the causal relationships implied in the

    proposed model. Future research should attempt to collect data at more than one point, and

    should carry out cross-lagged analyses to test the causality implied in the model.

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    http://dx.doi.org/doi: 10.1080/21639159.2013.852911

    Abstract1. Introduction2. A brief overview of Taipei sports centers3. Conceptual framework and hypotheses3.1 Internal marketing3.2 Job satisfaction3.3 Organizational commitment3.4 Relationship between internal marketing and job satisfaction3.5 Relationship between internal marketing and organizational commitment3.6 Relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment3.7 Mediation of job satisfaction

    4. Methods4.1 Participants4.2 Measures4.3 Data analysis

    5. Results5.1 Scale reliability and validity5.2 Direct effects in the structure model5.3 The mediation effect of job satisfaction5.4 Competing model5.5 Testing for structural invariance

    6. Discussion6.1 Managerial implications6.2 Limitations and suggestions

    References

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