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Catherine Cheung and Tom Baum

The main purpose of this study is to explore the perspective of hotel employees on hotel brand internalization. Previous studies on hotel brand internalization were largely about employees’ behavior and customers’ perceptions. Relatively little is known about the stages or variables inherent in the brand internalization process. Developing a conceptual model to theoretically and realistically describe how hotel brand internalization takes place will further research in this area. In this study, a qualitative approach was used, involving in-depth interviews with 26 front-line employees from hotels with well-known brands to identify significant themes that drive the brand internalization process. Five key themes were derived from the qualitative data; a conceptual model and a measurement scale were then developed which contributed to an understanding of the basic conditions necessary for hotel brand internalization and hotel management.