“One size doesn’t fit all”: Tourism and Hospitality Employees’ Response to Internal Brand Management
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Purpose: This study examines the effect of internal brand management (IBM) practices on tourism and hospitality employees' ability to demonstrate brand supportive behaviours. A model which includes brand knowledge dissemination, role clarity, brand commitment and brand supportive behaviour is proposed. To provide further insight, the study examines the impact that hierarchical roles have on employees' responses. Design: A quantitative research methodology was adopted resulting in the development of a self-administered online survey instrument. Using a national database of service employees, respondents were invited to participate in the online survey, resulting in the completion of 137 surveys. Findings: While all paths were significant in the overall model, differences were found when comparing front line and management models. Overall, brand commitment played a more significant role in the front line model, whereas role clarity was not shown to be significant in the management model with respect to influencing brand supportive behaviour. Implications: The results suggest the employee market is not homogenous. IBM has a positive effect on all employees but it is what they choose to do with that information that differs. Managers should endeavour to develop brand committed front line employees, while the management employees should be encouraged to apply their brand knowledge, thereby 'leading by example'. Originality/Value: An IBM strategy should be paramount in the tourism & hospitality industry given the critical role the employee provides to a guest's overall experience and assessment of the brand. This study empirically validates the effects of IBM, identifying differences in responses based on hierarchical position which has ramifications for practioners and academics in developing best practice.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
© 2010 Emerald. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services not elsewhere classified