Internal marketing in UK banks: Conceptual legitimacy or window dressing?

Ioanna Papasolomou-Doukakis, Philip J. Kitchen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses findings from an exploratory study concerning internal marketing in the UK retail bank industry. In order to enhance efficiency and provide motivation to employees many UK banks have adopted internal marketing. The paper adopts the approach of first defining the generic research area, and then describing the research approach. It is concerned with first identifying the rhetoric of internal marketing as employed in UK banks, and second with exploring the practice of reality of internal marketing as practiced within UK banks. The paper is grounded in Mason's view that theoretical positions or data explanations move from the particular context of internal marketing views and expand within banks to the general theoretical contribution to be made. Findings are explored via two extant relationships and three anomalies based on the data analysis. Evidence from the study suggests that internal marketing is being taken seriously but in such a way as to be managerially, not employee, oriented. At best, internal marketing within this industry is regarded as a form of window dressing or part of the trappings of marketing, rather than having any substantive base or rationale insofar as employees are concerned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-452
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Bank Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004


  • Banks
  • Internal marketing
  • United Kingdom

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