Internal Communication and its relationship with Service Quality: How Internal Communication can affect Service Quality at Hvidovre hospital, through measuring and improving employee engagement.

Marc Bennedsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The hypothesis of this thesis was that a link exist between the state of an organisation's internal communication, and the level of service quality delivered as perceived by customers. In this process three sub-questions were answered; how patients perceive the service quality of Hvidovre Hospital, how we can measure internal communication, and lastly how employees rate the level of said communication. In order to research the hypothesis, 200 surveys were handed out to patients at the Infectious Diseases Ambulatory to gauge the level of service quality. This was combined with an internal survey to the employees and an interview with a nurse working in the ambulatory, to gauge the internal communication climate by measuring the level of employee engagement. Theoretically, the thesis establish the proposed link through a combination of two models; the SERVQUAL model by Parasuraman et al (1985), Curry (1999) and Luk & Layton (2002), and a newly developed conceptual model of internal communication by Ruck & Welch (2012). Focussing on the different perceptions of quality between management, employees and patients, using employee engagement to measure the level of internal communication, the thesis propose a new mixed-model, explaining the relationship between the two concepts. The collected data confirmed the hypothesis, with almost all areas of service quality that could be affected by internal communication showing significantly better scores than those not affected. The overall score for internal communication and patients rating of the total service experience are almost equal, further substantiating the conclusion. The areas that Hvidovre Hospital needs to focus on based on my research are; visible support for employees, which both employees and patients rate as being way too low. The other area that needs focus is higher identification with organisational values for employees. For the service quality areas influenced by internal communication, the worst scores are related to employees not showing enough empathy when patients have a problem, and patients not being told exactly when they are going to receive treatment. In total, the ambulatory is only ever so slightly below patient expectation, but if the mentioned issues are addressed through internal communication, it should be able to meet or exceed said expectations.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages134