This article explores the structural relationships through which internal marketing can create value for an organisation, its customers and its employees. It is argued that internal marketing requires a relationship‐mediated approach, where planned phases of learning activity in volunteer groups generate new internally valid knowledge critical to the improvement of external market performance. Thus internal marketing is defined as a relationship development strategy for the purpose of knowledge renewal. First, the author presents a typology of knowledge exchange patterns within organisations on which internal marketing is based. Second, a four‐phase internal marketing process grounded in case research is presented. Next, the structure of relationship development for internal marketing is described, one which mediates knowledge transfer between the individuals involved and to their organisation as a whole. Finally, the paper offers five propositional statements in support of a relationship‐mediated theory of internal marketing.
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