Edited By Gunnar Prause, Urve Venesaar and Wolfgang Kersten
Tough Competition and Burnt-out Employees:Why Internal Customer Orientation Could be the Answer. Andreas von Schubert
219 Tough Competition and Burnt-out Employees: Why Internal Customer Orientation Could be the Answer Andreas von Schubert1 Abstract There are many leadership theories that can provide quite helpful guidance for managers in their daily work with their group of direct reports. However, they implicitly assume relatively stable market conditions. It is therefore not surprising that even experienced leaders reach their limits with directive leadership, given the ever more complex, more international and increasingly dynamic structures in today's companies. New approaches to leadership are therefore needed, which take into account those organisational developments. The leadership concept of internal customer orientation transfers the key factors of cus- tomer excellence to the internal organisation. The philosophy is quite simple: internal cus- tomer orientation is leadership, which not only carries the customer wishes through the organ- isation, but which regards the employees themselves as customers. Due to the fact that every employee is internal customer to at least one, mostly several other employees, and that he himself in turn is internal "supplier" to again other employees, everyone's own self-interest ensures active and focused cooperation in this system of internal suppliers and customers. Directive leadership is henceforth only needed in exceptional cases, because customer satisfaction is assured out of the employees' self-interested considerations. JEL classification: M1, M5 Keywords: leadership, competition, burnt-out employees, customer orientation, performance 1. Introduction The basic philosophy of economic leadership is that the outcome of leadership activities must always be worthwhile for every person involved. Worthwhile means that everybody is able to...
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