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A Study Of Internal And External Marketing Communication Techniques - With A Free Essay Review
“A Study of Internal and External Marketing Communication Techniques, Downfalls and Best Practices”
A study of various companies and processes that utilized different approaches to implementing and communicating changes within their organization and how their employees respond to the before, during and after effects. Typical mistakes and remedies are discussed to find commonalities within organizations. From the pitfalls found, best practices are developed for all internal marketing communications. Comparisons are discussed of marketing a new service or policy change within an organization versus marketing a new product or service to an external market with a focus on the lack of budget appropriation for internal marketing communication changes. Application to the business marketing and communication world is included by offering a series of best practices, as well as ways to avoid pitfalls or shortcomings in implementing change internally in organizations of all sizes.
Internal marketing communication techniques are often overlooked and underutilized within organizations. Most companies spend a large portion of their personnel and monetary budgets examining best practices for effective external marketing, but rarely do they spend even a small portion of their budget on internal marketing communication technique improvement.
The purpose of this article is to take a deeper look at internal marketing communications within organizations both large and small as well as evaluate existing research on the subject and determine multiple factors of internal marketing communication. Research has been conducted to detail ordinary pitfalls of organizations while devising an internal marketing communication plan. Also, research has been conducted to find correlations between internal and external marketing communication tactics. Best practices have also been researched and developed to determine the best approach for implementing internal marketing communication within companies.
Failed Internal Marketing Communication Tactics
Many times organizations have failed the task of internal marketing communications by multiple facets. In a survey by Jen Livsey of Farm Credit System (a drought specialist), employees are surveyed of large ranches to find out what their employees’ value the most, as many ranch owners found it hard to get their employees motivated. The results of the survey indicated that they value clarity in communication, furthermore feedback from the ranch owner or manager, all of which were currently lacking in the current structure of their organization. Without this clarity in communication, employees found it hard to know the mission of the organization as well as understand the full spectrum of their job role. The study also discusses the need for real employee engagement, the need for clarity in values, for similar reason of the employees needing a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Employees also found a strong need for incentives, specifically monetary incentive for motivation, otherwise they would not cooperate with the communication initiatives put forth by the ranch owners (Rutherford, 2012). If the ranch owners did not cooperate with the employees desires, they would be dealing with disgruntled employees or employees in need of more motivation to succeed.
Richardson also discusses the understanding of employees responds to request their input in all matters of change within an organization as much as possible. Richardson states that employees lack a deep understanding of the organization and its reasoning for change when they are not asked for their input and the choice has already been made and implemented (Richardson, 2012). This article discusses the study that explores the concept of employees understanding organizational objectives as well as the importance to align their employees with the specific objectives. Many times line of sight differs between employees and organizations and the consequences of the differences are noted (Richardson, 2012).
In the case study by Grousebeck, there are key personality conflicts between two high power individuals and very differing manager styles. High-powered CEOs respond to the article with their suggestions and implications on the study. Best practices are determined for dealing with employees, no matter what their level of expertise is, when having two or more employees that clash. The article is left open ended with what the company actually did, but if no action was taken, there would be a total breakdown in internal marketing communications within the example organization (Grousebeck, 2012).
Benza suggests guidelines to follow on how employers can best optimize employee participation and engagement to improve the productivity of their industry to cut costs by explaining the largest factors in communication breakdown. Some of the largest factors in communication breakdown in the case studies from Benza were absenteeism and general illness. Benza gathers the largest contributing pitfalls to the breakdown in communication and then discusses remedies for combating the breakdown in communication. It mentions the importance of reducing absenteeism and illness by offering wellness programs and other avenues of boosting employee morale.
An article by Brotherton discloses information from a survey that was completed by Fierce, Inc. The results of the survey were that employees felt there was a lack of openness in decision-making and ineffective practices disabled workplace performance and decreasing employee morale. The company then took this into account and created an organizational culture of self accountability or ownership to combat the pitfalls or failures that were found, as well as invited employees encouraged to offer their input and the company would become active listeners. The article discusses the benefits of the democratic approach compared to the dictator approach (Brotherton, 2012).
Measuring effectiveness in internal communication and marketing is key in finding the pitfalls and reducing or eliminating them in the implementation plan of internal communications. A paper by Meng and Pan shows the findings from two different research projects related to measuring the effectiveness of an organization’s internal communication initiatives along with their contribution to a business’ performance. Multiple interviews are completed, along with metrics completed through avenues including focus groups, qualitative analysis, and a feedback surgery. They focused mainly on employee participation, engagement, satisfaction and productivity, along with implications for corporate initiatives (Meng, 2012).
Effective External Marketing Communication Tactics
In this dissertation, research has been conducted on effective external marketing communication techniques including determining target markets, product life cycles, product placement and pricing as well as narrowing in on specific demographic information. This research is important, as there is typically a strong correlation between external marketing communication tactics to what an organization is doing internally.
Diago, the world largest alcoholic beverage distiller has had an article published regarding the change of its target segmentation to grow to the growing number of independent, self-supporting women as there was a large income growth for them, specifically in African countries like Kenya. This would make a great target market for their new read-to-drink cocktail campaign that was aimed at African women, but was looking for a smaller demographic within the largest target markets (Fletcher, 2012). This information is important, as it shows how important it is to narrow in on a specific market that truly fits the product you are trying to market, whether internal or external.
In an article in Women’s Wear Daily, Target, as a big box retailer, is focused on for its creative campaign approaches to marketing segmentation as well as product placement. Target, over the years, has used iconic mascots like Bullseye, the English Bull Terrier, as well as other memorable characters. Overtime, they have shifted their advertising greatly to reflect the changing of times in technology and now have a large online presence on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook (Expecting the Unexpected, 2012).
Kobrak discussed the most typical mistakes of market segmentation, which he described as including too broad of a market as their primary target audience, as well as changing segments too often and failing to communicate with all parts of management, with an unclear vision. It has been argued frequently that a large amount of data generated by marketing research companies can be erroneous, and multiple avenues need to be taken to ensure the best target market and market segmentation possible (Kobrak, 2012).
A detailed study of Free Open Source Software (FOSS) projects has been completed to determine the survival factors at various states of a FOSS project life-cycle. In each stage, there is growth or development that needs to take place for the FOSS project to be successful from the initial stage of development, to the growth stage to the maturity stage. When multiple restrictions were placed on projects, they tended to do better in the initial stages of the product life, but dwindled quickly when other projects were moving on to the growth and maturity stage of the cycle. Projects with high quality external power, as well as strong participation in the developing stages and the service quality made it easier for the project to move forward into a stronger growth stage of the product. The author noted some of the most important findings were being aware of the changing product life cycles, and finding the appropriate mix of survival factors to help move the product from one stage to the next (Wang 2012).
Tompkins comments on the importance of benchmarking and the utilization of best practice when trying to create opportunities for profitable growth and capital efficiency. He mentions there is a need for companies to analyze up to ten areas including procurement, outsourcing, and cash-to-cash cycle management when developing a new product or service. This pertains to the research as it is easily transferable to internal product or change development and analyzing all aspect of the plan before moving forward with it (Tompkins, 2012).
Negative brand placements influence consumer behavior according to Redondo, specifically in movies, psychology and marketing. There is an intrinsic and extrinsic connection to the brand relating to the placement effectiveness. If an intrinsic negative connection is made, it will discourage views from consuming the brand, especially when they perceive the movie content being realistic. 1103 moviegoers were asked to view “Good Bye, Lenin!” with different product placements for Burger King and Coca-Cola and were asked which one they responded to more positively. Most moviegoers responded more positively to Coca-Cola due to the placement of the advertisement (Redondo, 2012).
Moran focuses on a company, Windsor Circle, that helps businesses create targeted advertising campaigns through the use of data analytics. Windsor Circle takes a different approach to typical targeted ad campaigns by using smaller demographic groups with a more solid participation rate that they have determined to be successful by the use of their data analytic software (Moran, 2012).
Case Studies and Interviews on Internal Marketing Communication
Multiple case studies and interviews of senior management or CEO’s have been conducted on effectiveness of internal marketing communications. In this dissertation, a few will be looked at determine the scope of the project and to support the proposition statement.
Looking at Rutherford’s case study of large ranches and the employee most wanted incentives and perks is an important case to look at. The study discusses specific needs of the employees such as clarity in value, incentivizing and continuous motivation as the most important factors in employee satisfaction. They also said that they valued clarity in communication in order to know exactly what was expected of them in each specific job role (Rutherford, 2012).
In another study, Sachs, global director of ergonomics at Eli Lilly and Company was interested regarding the impact of change and how to communicate it via internal communications. Eli Lilly has been a leader in the integrated workplaces (IWP) development but has had both positive and negative effects on the workplace, as well as increasing injury rates from five per thousand to fifteen per thousand with a session injury occurring from the integrated workplace. The change was done drastically and little to no employee input was given when the change occurred. People were resistant to the change, and it has been thought by some, including Sachs, that people are becoming injured more easily, or reporting quicker, since the change in the workplace from being told what to do, versus asked what they wanted. A close examination and first account of what has happened and how Eli Lilly could have potentially avoided some of the shortcomings is exhibited. This is in alignment with what was presented in the article by Polevoi, as Carr, former Vistage International president and CEO was interviewed on the importance of getting inputs before making a decision. Car noted that employee engagement during the entire decision making process is a key success factor in successful internal communication to market change in policy or environments in the workplace. Car also stated that when there was a lack of focus from managers during the decision making process, it was most closely related to not having the employee’s buy-in that was needed (Polevoi, 2012).
McNamara and Moses have conducted a case study looking at university staff members’ perception of a women’s mentoring group and how they were able to find out the results and what the results meant. Crucial findings from the study are given that the intended purpose of the group versus the implied purpose of the group were very different from each other. A very small percentage responded to the survey that was sent out (less than 10% total surveys were collected) which also showed the lack of participation overall in the university’s extracurricular activities that were offered. Ways to boost the participation as well as change the implication was addressed which included marketing the actual purpose of the women’s networking group more clearly, as well as trying to find new participants in a more targeted way. Specific demographics were looked at and was found that the main target demographic of young women, under the age of forty, also the main target audience of this group, was being missed completely while communicating internally in previous correspondence (McNamara, 2012).
In an article by Davenport, multiple companies’ habits are discussed regarding the importance of employee buy-in and participation in the corporate decision making process. At EMC, employee participation helped cut costs in what the employees considered the least painful manner possible. WGB Construction created a new floor plan after consulting a variety of employees and other entities beyond just the executive branch of leadership of the company (Davenport, 2012).
An exploratory study on the health service sector focusing on internal marketing and how it effects internal employee satisfaction has been completed by Pantouvakis. It identifies Bitner’s servicescape framework as well as looking at the effectiveness of human resource management within an organization. This sample includes 478 medical staff members including those from areas of administration, nursing and general medical from nine different hospitals. The wide sample helps discover multiple service roles in their relationship with internal communication and marketing to help create an ideal model of communication (Pantouvakis, 2012).
A study examining the relationship between perceived callings, multiple researchers completed job satisfaction and living out what you believe your calling is for your career through the results of an online survey. Participants were asked what their role of career commitment and the meaning of their work is to the individual. This corresponds with the research at hand by offering what it takes for someone to be happy in their job role and where the most commitment people are established in their careers. There is a large link between living a calling and job satisfaction, which shows the importance of being happy in their jobs, as well as doing what one is called to do. (Duffy, 2012)
Data is used from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey of Employees which traces the effects of employee involvement and participation and the reciprocation of management. The results of the survey show that there are a series of organizational benefits related to participation, which includes increased job influence or opinion, greater job satisfaction, and an increased level of career commitment. Building trust effects the employees greatly, but can at times work against the idea of trust development when employees have too much voice in decision-making (Timming, 2012).
Best Practices for Internal Marketing Communication
Best practices are often shown in the conclusion of the case studies as well as within interviews completed. From the article previously discussed by Timming, the data that is used from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey of Employees draws conclusions to creating best practices for employee participation. Best practices from this article are determined to be building trust, but can sometimes also work against the company if done too quickly. Finding the balance is the key to successful decision-making (Timming, 2012). The feel good factor is needed, whether it is monetarily, incentivizing or by word of mouth in a successful change implementation plan for organizations The impact is tremendous as illustrated in this article, which is noted as a best practice as well as an influencing party in internal marketing change. When using this approach, it boosts the employee morale, which in return increases employee buy-in and participation when trying to implement or market an upcoming change within an organization (Use the feel good, 2012).
From Grousbeck’s case study on the two senior management individuals that did not get along well in terms of personality or management styles, CEO’s of multiple companies responded with their best practices that could be drawn from the study. Multiple people responded with having to sit both of them down together in the same room to discuss opening, as well as others stating to take an individual approach. All answered included the idea of discussing the matter first hand with the effected individuals to find out what would work best for all included parties, versus the CEO making the decisions for them without considering what would work best for all parties involved (Grousbeck, 2012).
An article by Benza suggests guidelines to follow regarding how employers can best optimize employee participation and engagement to improve the productivity of their industry and cut costs. It mentions the importance of reducing absenteeism and illness by offering wellness programs and other avenues of boosting employee morale. Other avenues suggested are creating a sense of ownership for their own health, generating interest in programs, as well as trying to encourage greater participation. This pertains to the study of internal marketing communication by offering suggestions on a specific program in a company to try and gain greater participation and employee buy in and the benefits of doing so (Benza, 2012).
This article discusses the study that explores the concept of employees understanding organizational objectives as well as the importance to align their employees with the specific objectives. Having the correct line of sight within your employees is the key to success according to Boswell. (Boswell, 2001).
In the article previously discussed by Brotherton, an emphasis on employee input and accountability creates more effective practices within organizations. The article emphasizes the importance of the democratic approach, of asking for input and feedback each step of the way while developing or changing practices or policies within an organization (Brotherton, 2012).
Liu, Wang, Hui and Lee research the relationship between positive outcomes and psychological ownership. It discusses in depth the importance individuals base having control in the decision making process and how it effects the psyche and satisfaction of the outcome of the decisions. This is effecting the study of implementing internal change, as it reaffirms the idea of personal ownership as well as the democratic approach to leadership and decision-making in corporate structures (Liu, 2012).
In the study completed by Davenport, all of the companies that were interviewed and surveyed, employee buy-in and participation were key factors in corporate decision-making and change implementation. Key changes and cost reductions were completed successfully when companies took this approach to the change implementation (Davenport, 2012). Groysberg echoes this approach with the article, as a democratic conversation is discussed between peers and executive leadership. Employees had an overall greater feel of importance and belonging if they felt that they could have a casual conversation about the changes as well as being actively listened to (Groysberg, 2012). This idea piggybacks off the interview with Carr, where employee respect and engagement is needed in order for the greatest outcome in inter-organizational decision-making marketing and change implementation.
In the study by Duffy regarding job calling and job satisfaction, the best practices resulted in finding ways for the employees to be happy in their jobs, when it was not in the job they felt called to. For those that were in the job they felt called to do, minimal work had to be done, according to the study, to keep employees happy in their job, as long as all of the working conditions were deemed acceptable, but fewer fringe benefits were needed in their case (Duffy, 2012). Being a positive leader and having a positive leadership brand within an organization is also a best practice developed by McLaughlin. A positive reputation is mandatory when trying to implement positive change, as it will produce a higher economic value (McLaughlin, 2009).
A letter from the editor of Communication World, Nicholson, discusses the importance of the idea of inspiring to lead people. It discusses the multiple definitions of inspire, and what it means in correlation to leadership in organizations. Inspiration comes from inspiring those beyond something ordinary, rewarding those around you, making peace as well as believing in your employees as well. The opportunity always exist to be a good leader, but this article discusses the importance of recognizing that and seizing the opportunity to strengthen yourself as a leader as well as those below you within the organization (Nicholson, 2010).
The integration of two approaches (cognitive and effective approaches) related to the process of decision-making participation within an organization has been discussed by Park. Multiple efforts have been made in the past for each approach separately but none have blended the two approaches together at this point. Informational sharing and organizational commitment are the two key factors in tying these two approaches together. Self managed teams and group incentives were related strongly to information sharing, which also related to organizational commitment and perceived company performance (Park, 2012).
Internal Marketing Communication Pitfalls
All companies have to communicate changes to their company, whether be policy or procedure, to their employees. Many companies struggle with communicating the change correctly, which leads to poor implementation of the change, as well as poor compliance from employees. Some of the most common reasons for poor internal marketing communications are due to not having the employee buy-in before implementing the change, not asking for feedback from employees, and management taking a dictatorship approach.
In a survey by Jen Livsey, ranch employees were surveyed of large ranches to find out what their employees’ value the most, which would help indicate potential areas the ranch owners were not as focused on. Many ranch owners found it hard to get their employees motivated, which finding the reason why, would be key to moving forward with a company. The surveyed employees indicated that communication was unclear as well as unsure of what their exact job description or job expectation was, which caused them to become unmotivated. They also felt underappreciated and felt incentivizing when they have done their job well, would also help motivate them to work harder and more efficiently (Rutherford, 2012). Having this valuable feedback from employees is key to avoid pitfalls in the future and to work towards developing a more positive implementation plan for future internal marketing to the ranch employees.
Requesting the input of all employees, no matter their ranking is vitally important to successful internal marketing communications. Many times senior management has the only “say” in the final decision, which makes employees rebel many times, or feel that they have not had a chance to offer their opinion. Letting the employees have an opinion in the change, and taking the time to listen to their feedback, as it will effect each and every one of them will be important. Having the employees understand the change that will take place, and how it effects them potentially will help them ease into the change with less interruption, as well as feel like they were a part of the process of change (Richardson, 2012). The line of sight can be incredibly contrasting between employees and its owners and many owners would be surprised at what employees think their role is, or what is expected of them, versus what the owner or senior management expects of them (Brotherton, 2012).
Another pitfall that happens frequently in organizations is personality conflict, primarily in senior management when each person is trying to “beat” the other person at their own job or sell their own idea, no matter the overall benefit of the company. If management does not get along or mesh well with each other, each manager will be pushing to pass their own idea, instead of looking at the overall good of the company (Grousebeck, 2012). Comprising is key in management and effective leadership, trying to understand the overall picture and mission of the company, and the goal they are trying to achieve. Personal gain is one of the largest pitfalls of internal marketing communications, as the specific manager wants all of the credit, and believes the change to be a great change, but has not considered the feelings or opinions of all parties involved (Rutherford, 2012).
Another ordinary mistake that many companies make when marketing internally is forgetting to measure the actual effectiveness of the change that took place. How many employees responded positively? How many responded negatively? What can we improve on after implementation? All of these would be appropriate questions to help guide through the effectiveness of the change and how it was marketed internally. Whenever a change is marketed internally, the results of the change need to be measured and documented. By having the change measured for success and documented, it will help guide the company in future changes to make them more successful each time (Meng, 2012).
Correlation Between External and Internal Marketing Communication Tactics
One of the largest mistakes companies make in internal marketing communications is to not use the same approach they use in their external marketing efforts. Companies spend a large portion of their marketing budget every year on finding out how to best reach their consumer of each product or service they offer. This is typically done in a variety of ways, including customer surveys, direct mail, social media, e-mail campaigns, billboards, and radio or television advertisements. Although internal marketing communication does not need to exactly duplicate their external marketing efforts, the processes are very similar to develop the best method to communicate and “sell” their changes of policies and procedures internally.
People would not buy a product that they had never heard of, nor would they buy a product that they did not feel was a good fit for them. Similarly, in internal marketing, employees will not buy into a change if they do feel it was a good fit for them, or if the first time they hear of it, is when they are forced to adhere to it. Employees want to have an opinion and have the option to buy the change or not. When senior management does not offer this choice, there will not be a good reception of the change and people will not want to adapt to the change in policy or procedure and most likely rebel against it. Companies would benefit greatly if they paid close attention to their target market of consumers internally (the employees) and targeted their campaign for their new product (new policy or procedure roll out) to best fit the needs of the consumer (the employee) (Timming, 2012).
There is also a product life cycle in external marketing that all companies are aware of and tend to adapt to the wants and needs of the consumer at the different stages in the cycle. The company must understand there will be times that there will be more or fewer sales and they will have to do different types of promotions at different times to keep the market for their product cultivating. This is similar to the cycle of a policy or procedure in a company, and how atmospheres or demographics change slightly, as well as the supply and demand. As the product perception changes in an external market, the opinions change about a policy or procedure on the inside. If a company does not pay close attention, the (external) product will fail, and a new formula, new product, or completely new campaign will need to be launched, causing the company to spend a lot of unnecessary money in their budget on something that could have been avoided if they paid closer attention to the market. In the internal approach, the company needs to pay close attention to how a change implementation would effect the employee’s morale, as well as their overall view of the company. They also need to take into account the level of expected compliance and emblacement of the new policy or procedure that was marketed to them (Moran, 2012).
Determining the proper pricing or the value of the product, as well as the placement on the shelves in a specific type of physical store or online in an external market is key in a successful product launch. This parallels with launching an internal change in a company, by choosing the right avenue to launch the change communication (is this done through a company wide lunch, or e-mail campaign, posters, or gradually trickled through the company by department?) as well as an overall timeline for total implementation. By having the product placement (correct avenue for change implementation) and the pricing (value to the employee) well executed and thought through thoroughly, a smooth change implementation should take place, through the internal marketing that occurred (Moran, 2012).
Case Studies on Internal Marketing Communication
Multiple case studies have been done on external marketing approaches, and how to create a successful new product launch, but yet only a few studies were found on internal marketing or internal relationships within companies and the effect it has on a company on its internal communication structure. As stated previously, there’s a strong correlation in the approaches from external to internal, but also a few unique dynamics to internal communication structures and how marketing a change can affect it differently than an external market.
In a case study by Grousebeck, two senior management team members have an intertwined working relationship that makes it vitally important for managers to get along well, as well as see eye to eye on vital decisions. Ronnie and Ellen, the two management team members could not be more different from each other, which creates large amounts of conflict, not only between Ronnie and Ellen themselves, but also the relationships they share with other team members. When the CEO asked each manager if they could tweak their management styles and get along with each other. The CEO took matters one-step further by asking the lower level employees how they would like to see the company run from the divisions that were effected by Ronnie and Ellen. Employees felt validated by being asked their opinion, and the two managers felt important as well, as a common resolution was trying to be reached.
In a case study on a women’s networking and mentoring group at a university, a survey was sent out to all university staff members asking for their feedback on the struggling mentoring group. The results came back with only 10% of the staff members participating overall. Of the 10% that did participate, only a few knew that the group even was in existence and the others knew that it existed, but did not know what its function was. The staff members were interested in knowing more about the group, but were unsure of how to find out more information on it, according to the survey results. This case study proves the fact that even if a small amount of people participate in a survey, that was offered to all, people feel that they have been included in the decision making process and feel validated for being offered the chance to give their opinion (Johns, 2012). Although the results were most likely not what the university had hoped for, it gave them a great direction of where to go with the group and the failures of the group were also uncovered. By having this valuable information from the survey, they had measured the effectiveness of the existing group, found ways to improve it, and have a baseline to measure the next survey they send out after improvements have been made.
Best Practices and Recommendations for Internal Marketing Communication
The best approach for internal marketing communications for any company would be the democratic approach versus the dictator approach. The democratic approach is an approach that encourages consistent communication between all levels of management and employees, with an open discussion where each and every opinion is heard. It is always best to ask for employee input every time a change of any size will be taking place within an organization, and will increase the respect the implementation of change (Use the feel good, 2012). Employees need to feel job satisfaction as well as clarity in their job role in order to feel validated in their position (Duffy, 2012). Employees will be much more adaptable to change when asked their opinion and not demanded to transform to the implemented change without any say.
Employees are affected by their leaders and their peers and will be inspired to follow in the footsteps of those who are leading effectively (Nicholson, 2010). Management must be on board with any change that is being implemented and encourage employees and potentially incentivize as needed in order to have a smooth transition. If management is not adapting to or communicating the changes effectively, the employees will potentially rebel against the management or the company and have decreasing employee morale, leading to less efficiency.
Seeking a positive, supportive environment to implement change, any internal marketing communication within a company should come across much clearer and well received by all employees. It will also be successful if the opinions are taken into account and employees are given the option to give feedback after the changes have gone into effect and know the proper means of communication to make potential amendments to the change able to happen.
Although there are many different approaches to internal communication marketing and employee buy-in during organizational change, it is most important to understand the most frequent pitfalls for internal marketing communications, as well as the best practices when devising an internal marketing communication plan within any organization. If best practices are avoided, and companies are only focused on the external marketing efforts, a portion of the company will begin to fail, as there will be a communication breakdown and reducing employee morale when a change goes into effect. By focusing on the external marketing aspects and transferring them to an internal approach, along with a democratic approach and effective leadership in place, all changes should happen smoothly and lead to greater efficiency in the company.
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Our site is really for students looking for critiques of argumentative essays, but I can a say a few words at least about the essay. One of the problems that I suppose I can point out is the relatively poor quality of the writing in general (which a reader might be forgiven for being especially sensitive to in a document about communication). The problem occurs often when sentences become long and the syntax gets complicated, so it might be an idea to keep the syntax relatively simple. Certain sentences just seem like accidental and inexplicable trainwrecks. I've no idea, for instance, what happened in the following, and can only guess what you mean: "Richardson also discusses the understanding of employees responds to request their input in all matters of change within an organization as much as possible." But here's an example of a solvable problem: "Benza suggests guidelines to follow on how employers can best optimize employee participation and engagement to improve the productivity of their industry to cut costs by explaining the largest factors in communication breakdown." This sentence starts out fine, but it seems not to know where to stop, and so ends up being two sentences yoked uncomfortably together. The first sentence is about the existence of guidelines that will help improve employee participation and so productivity. I'm not certain what the second sentence really wants to say, but I expect it would be clearer if you tried to write it as a stand-alone sentence. Generally, when the syntax starts getting unwieldy, consider dividing the sentence into shorter sentences.
I don’t think that solving the problem of confusing sentences will not solve the problem of the lack of clarity in the article as a whole, however. That second problem is caused by a number of factors, but including some guideposts for your reader would help address the issue. Guideposts are statements that clarify what is going in an essay. Without them, your essay tends to read like a desultory list of facts, a random arrangement of paragraphs. Guideposts might be transitional statements between paragraphs, or they might be conclusions to paragraphs that explicitly state what you want the reader to think about the information presented in the paragraph.
Take your paragraph on Target for example. There is no transition to this paragraph, so the introduction of its topic appears abrupt, and the placement of the paragraph appears arbitrary. The previous paragraph aimed to demonstrate the importance of finding a market appropriate to one's product. A transition to the Target paragraph, placed at the beginning of the paragraph, might be something as simple as this: "It is also important to adopt a creative, flexible approach to marketing." The word "also" links the present paragraph to the previous paragraph, and sometimes that is all you need to do. That kind of thing makes a reader feel comfortable (instead of lost). The other words of the transition anticipate what the paragraph will discuss. They define its topic. Suddenly the world makes sense, if only for a moment. You should consider doing that kind of thing between every paragraph, and when you get to the end of a paragraph or section, clarify the general point, if there is one, that you have been trying to demonstrate; drive home the lesson, instead of leaving to your reader, as you do often here, the task of interpreting the information you present.