When looking for an example of an internally orientated organisation, at best one imagines a hospital in olden days: Definite iron-clad visiting hours, little information for the patients, clear shift schedules with washing and feeding of patients from five am, single meal choices, all power rests with the doctor and his decision as to what is best for the patient.
Decisions are internally orientated, when their reference point does not lie with the service recipient, but with the service provider. In organisations which operate on this pole, research and development tend to dominate rather than sales, controlling rather than marketing, regulations rather than the customer.
An organisation, in its ‘entirety‘, can develop by orientating itself internally or externally, but, in the same way, different areas, departments or teams can shape themselves this way or that or can target individual decisions according to the internal or external environment. Internally orientated decisions, in a literal sense, are often more obvious, because the immediately perceivable opposite is usually the colleague in front of you and not the customer or colleague in another place. Thus, employees tend to direct themselves to decisions which bring harmony to their own workplace, but conflict elsewhere. Therefore, in the long term, an asymmetry in favour of internal orientation can be observed in organisations during periods of success and growth.