On January 7, 2021, the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana was dissolved and paved way for the Eighth Parliament to be inaugurated in accordance with Article 113(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. The proceedings were held close to midnight where a new Speaker of Parliament had to be elected. What was supposed to be a smooth transfer ended up as a total breakdown of law and order, resulting in a chaotic scene where a Member of Parliament was seen snatching a ballot paper and unforeseen scuffles between Members of Parliament from the NPP and NDC. Amidst all these, the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Alban Bagbin, was eventually sworn in. A first time in history where the Speaker of Parliament was from the opposition party.
Now, what is next for Ghana to experience from the Eighth Parliament of Ghana? For a smooth and effective proceeding, the Parliament of Ghana can be viewed as an “organisation” with each Member of Parliament also as an “employee” and the general public as the “external customers”. A harmonised effort within an organisation (Parliament of Ghana) is an utmost necessity to provide customers (the general public of Ghana) with services at a desired level. This brings up the concept of Internal Marketing. Internal Marketing is the process of motivating and empowering employees of an organisation to work as a team for the overall well-being of the external customers and thereby the organisation itself. This goes on to say that, for the development of Ghana, the Members of Parliament must be viewed as internal markets who must be convinced of the Parliaments’ vision for our motherland Ghana. The goal of internal marketing is to align every aspect of an organisation’s operations to ensure they are as capable as possible of providing value to its external customers. When an organisation (Parliament of Ghana) operates in a coordinated and standardised way, it can provide a more consistent experience to their external customers (the general public). Without the implementation of internal marketing, chaos and misunderstanding and differences in goals mostly arise.
Internal marketing is on the premise that external customers’ attitude towards an organisation are based on their entire experience with that organisation. Thus, in our political setting, the Members of Parliament are regarded as representatives of constituencies in Ghana, hence, the general public perception of Parliament would be, in one way or the other, based on the developmental projects and fulfilment of promise from a Member of Parliament.
The concept of internal marketing must be applied in Parliament to ensure an alignment of organisational (Parliament) objective with its employees (Members of Parliament). This can only be done when Members of Parliament are well informed and abreast with the goals set for the Eighth Parliament under the Fourth Republic of Ghana. This conveys the message to every member, the purpose for which they were elected and the responsibility they have to deliver to the general public of Ghana. Another way internal marketing can be applied is to ensure that the core values of the organisation (Parliament) in guaranteeing good governance is completely comprehended by each employee (Member of Parliament). Coordinating the task of every member is another key aspect of internal marketing. This is to ensure that members know what to do, when to do, how to do and for whom to do; making it easy to achieve the laid down objectives of an organisation (Parliament). Internal marketing brings out the creation of a congenial atmosphere where every member can share their views with others in a unified and smooth manner. Ideally, internal marketing places value on members’ contribution towards the development of Ghana. The implementation of internal marketing as a tool allows Members of Parliament from both the ruling and opposition parties to coordinate and cooperate effectively.
It is essential to sell inwardly in an organisation to avoid the situation of “garbage in garbage out”. The concept of internal marketing was first proposed in the mid-year of 1970 as a means of achieving the goal of consistent service quality which was a major challenge in the service sector. It was based on the view that in order to have satisfied customers, it is important for the organisation to have satisfied employees. This can be only achieved by treating employees as internal customers. The concept of internal marketing has been developed from the conventional marketing theory. As Christian Grönroos noted, “the internal marketing concept states that the internal market of employees is best motivated for service-mindedness and customer-oriented performance by an active, marketing-like approach, where a variety of activities are used internally in an active, marketing-like and coordinated way.” As internal marketing has been developed directly from conventional marketing theory as well as the marketing concept, it is stipulated that internal marketing planning is therefore made simple. Sustaining the internal market during good times and bad times to perform effectively for the success of an organisation is eventually measured by the achievement of its organisational goals and objectives.
Upon the events that occurred during the transfer to and the inauguration of the Eighth Parliament, the Speaker called on Members of Parliament to work closely together for the ultimate good of Ghana. According to the Speaker of Parliament, the occurrences that led to his election is a sign for all political actors to come together and work in an integrated way to ensure a hardworking, dedicated and unified Eighth Parliament. Ultimately, for the development of our beloved nation and good governance, internal marketing must be utilised in all proceedings of the House to achieve the said objective.
By Gertrude Agyemang
Kumasi Technical University
Department of Marketing