Examining the antecedents of positive employee brand-related attitudes and behaviours
Purpose - This study aims to examine the antecedents of employee brand commitment (BC) and brand citizenship behaviours (BCB). In doing so, it also aims to propose a model which includes organisational socialisation, relationship orientation and employee receptiveness to explain the relationships between these three antecedents and BC and BCB. Design/methodology/approach - A quantitative research methodology was adopted which resulted in the development of a self-administered online survey instrument. As the population of interest was employees working in a service industry, a purposive sampling technique was adopted. Using a national database of service employees, a random sample of 2,000 e-mail addresses was generated and respondents were invited to participate in the online survey. This resulted in the completion of 371 online surveys, representing a response rate of 19 per cent. Findings - The findings revealed a significant positive effect between organisational socialisation and BCB, but not with BC. On the other hand, relationship orientation was found to have a significant positive effect on BC, but not BCB. Employee receptiveness was the only antecedent to have a strong positive effect on both BC and BCB. Research limitations/implications - Given the findings, it appears that individual employee factors are extremely important in understanding how employees feel about and behave in relation to their employer's brand. Just as the external market literature reports numerous links between individual factors (i.e. personality, values, motivation, etc.) of consumers and consumption-related behaviour, the internal market literature will significantly benefit by adopting a similar line of enquiry in relation to employees. The acquisition of such knowledge will not only assist organisations in selecting "brand-oriented" employees, but will also help them identify, develop and nurture future brand champions. Practical implications - This study provides insight to managers that covet organisational success through the adoption of internal brand management practices. In particular, it empirically validates the significance of the receptivity of employees in enhancing not only their commitment to the brand but the exhibition of "pro" brand behaviours as well. Without employees that are first receptive to organisational dialogue, the intentions of internal brand management initiatives are unlikely to be realised. Originality/value - This study provides empirical evidence of the antecedents of employee brand commitment and subsequent brand behaviour. In doing so, it highlights the need to understand the pre-existing individual factors that employees bring to the employment exchange table, given that they significantly influence the way in which employees feel about and behave in relation to their employer's brand.
European Journal of Marketing
Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)