Internal Marketing and Employee’s Innovative Work Behavior: The Mediating Role of Job Embeddedness


Despite a lot of research work on innovative work behavior, the research is not only inconclusive but still to develop a consensus on a single best antecedent of innovative work behavior. Innovative work behavior remains in the limelight of research due to its direct relationship with organizational innovation. Innovative work behavior is an employee’s behavior that demands to be investigated with employee’s specific antecedent. Internal marketing is an emerging concept of human resource management that is the only employee’s specific antecedent to consider the employee as an internal customer and his/her job as a domestic product. Management literature has yet not investigated internal marketing as an antecedent of innovative work behavior. While conducting any research, the target sector for research is of paramount importance. Public and private sectors differ in culture, organizational structure and an administrative point of view. The private sector contributes more than the public sector and specifically the industrial sector. Industrial sector contributes 25% of the economy and in the industrial sector, engineering sector contributes 13.5% in the GDP. In Pakistan, the focus of the past research has been in the service sector and neglected the manufacturing sector which is a backbone of the country. Similarly, the past studies in the manufacturing sector focused the organizational specific variables and overlooked internal marketing with innovative work behavior. This study is based on social exchange theory to develop an integrated model of innovative work behavior which is mandatory for innovation in the manufacturing sector of Pakistan. In the model, innovative work behavior is dependent variable with independent variable internal marketing and its dimensions like strategic rewards, internal communication, training and development, leadership and empowerment. In the model, job embeddedness is a mediating variable, social capital and intrinsic motivations are the moderating variables.

Data were collected from the sample of the manufacturing sector. There are more than 450 auto parts manufacturing firms in Pakistan located in different cities. The data for 1116 valid samples were collected through questionnaire from four cities only. Findings of the results are novel in Pakistani context as well as in the management literature. Internal marketing as a composite variable, internal communication, leadership, and empowerment have a positive impact on innovative work behavior. Internal marketing also has a positive impact on job embeddedness and job embeddedness has a positive impact on innovative work behavior. Job embeddedness partially mediates the relationship between internal marketing and innovative work behavior. Intrinsic motivation positively moderates the relationship between internal marketing and job embeddedness but social capital does not moderate positively between job embeddedness and innovative work behavior. Strategic rewards and training and development have no effect on innovative work behavior. The relationship of variables in the model was supported theoretically and statistically in this study.

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