Internal marketing in a higher education context - towards an enriched framework
Purpose: The concept of "internal marketing" (IM) has gained the attention of researchers over the past three decades. Though a lot of research has been carried out on this topic, it remains a concept yet to be completely understood and captured, with ambiguity in terms of its definition and scope. The purpose of this paper is to utilise the higher education (HE) context in an emerging country, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to argue that the term "IM" needs more unbundling and hence the authors propose an enriched framework with a renewed and relevant identity, which the authors term as "corporate fusion" (CF). Design/methodology/approach: The authors do so with a renewed framework and philosophy that tries to capture new constructs and dimensions of IM in line with the emerging corporate milieu and has been applied to the HE sector of the UAE in this paper. Findings: The proposed new conceptual framework identifies a CF philosophy building on the existing literature and captures the essence of IM orientation, albeit with its new constructs, dimensions and justifications. Furthermore, the authors argue that this new model is relevant to the contemporary environmental trends surrounding present day HE organisations, more so ever in emerging markets such as the UAE, given their growth needs in a competitive global marketplace. Originality/value: In this paper, the authors take a close introspection at the contemporary role of IM in the HE landscape available in the UAE using a renewed framework titled "Corporate Fusion".