The Effects of Internal Marketing and Organizational Culture on Knowledge Management in the Information Technology Industry

Article excerpt

Although the successful experiences of the Scientific Industry Park has helped develop Taiwan's industries, technology, and economy, the high-tech industries were always working on behalf of other nation's industries, which in actuality, were not competitive. Therefore, in order to increase the competitive capacity of domestic high-tech industries, and to add to the short life spans of high-tech industries themselves, innovation must be emphasized, and the high-tech industries must give serious consideration to the issues of internal marketing and knowledge management. Through the methods of comprehensive interviews and questionnaire surveys, the current study established the key factors and structural aspects (i.e. market research, market segmentations, communications, perspectives, development, and rewards) of internal marketing, and found that internal marketing and organizational culture has a significant effect on the knowledge management. This was then used to supply a draft to scholars doing research and high-tech companies for internal marketing and knowledge management strategies.

Introduction

In 1996 the output from high-tech industries not only increased to 37.5% of the entire manufacturing industry's output, its exports also occupied 45% of Taiwan's total value. Most outstanding among them were electronics and information and communication products (occupied approximately 25% of Taiwan's exports). Taiwan has become the world's 3rd largest nation in information and 4th largest nation in semiconductor manufacturing (only lower than the United States, Japan, and Korea). From this it can be seen that high-tech industries are the major industries, which drive Taiwan's economic lifeline.

Internal marketing (IM) is emerging as a central theme of increasing importance in both academic and practitioner discourse. Foreman & Money (1995) suggested that the need for management to view the organization as a market, where there exists an internal supply chain consisting of internal suppliers and customers. This would suggest that by satisfying the needs of internal customers, an organization should be in a better position to deliver the service quality desired to satisfy external customers (Barnes & Morris, 2000). Internal marketing views employees as customers in the interior ol companies, and jobs are viewed as internal products. Serious attention is given to the needs of employees and an attempt to go through employees' satisfaction was established in order to increase customer satisfaction and maintain relationships with clients.

Thurow (2000) stated that the era of the 3rd wave of the industrial revolution had arrived, and its scope included microelectronics, computers, information, specially manufactured materials, robots, and biotechnology. In this era the main force of competitions between companies and people has shifted from land, finance, and equipment etc. to the innovation, master, management, and application of knowledge. The era of the knowledge economy has arrived, and this has encouraged the business world and academic circles to give serious attention to the issue of knowledge management. Knowledge management is a kind of operational strategy, and it assists companies in obtaining technology and competitive knowledge and information that is related to the market. It also assists companies in innovating, circulating, transforming, applying, storing, and maintaining or increasing the long-term competitive abilities of companies.

Although the successful experience of the science and technology park brought about the development of Taiwan's companies, technology, and economy, the high-tech industries were always working for companies from other nations, which in actuality, was not competitive. Consequently, in order to increase the competitive capacity of Taiwan's high-tech industries, increase the short lifespan of its high-tech industries, and emphasize innovative characteristics, high-tech companies must pay serious attention to the issue of knowledge management. …