The Production and Consumption of Meaning at Work
Edited by Matthew J. Brannan, Elizabeth Parsons and Vincenza Priola
Chapter 6: Internalizing the Brand? Identity Regulation and Resistance at Aqua-Tilt
Stephanie Russell Introduction This chapter explores empirically the process of employee branding and seeks to explore the various ways in which employees are encouraged to internalize the brand. In particular it examines the ways in which the brand can be harnessed to encourage individual–organizational identification. The data are drawn from an ethnographic investigation of Aqua-Tilt, a global manufacturer in the passive fire industry. This industry covers the manufacturing and installation of fire protection products, such as ceiling panels, fire doors and cavity wall barriers. The headquarters of Aqua-Tilt are located in the north of England, where I undertook research as part of a wider investigation into the impact of deregulation and voluntary compliance in the private sector. The concept of employee branding highlights how organizations seek to shape employees’ behaviour so that they are more inclined to externalize the organization’s brand through their everyday work behaviour. The increase in interest surrounding the process of employee branding is widely considered to include a range of aspects such as work on training and development (Miles and Mangold, 2004; Callaghan and Thompson, 2002) and décor and artefacts (Chugh and Hancock, 2009; Hancock and Tyler, 2000). Acknowledgement has also been made to the role of customer-orientated discourses on encouraging organizational identification (du Gay and Salaman, 1992) and how this can result in increased forms of control which employees actively seek to resist (Wallace and de Chernatony, 2009). The account provided in this chapter will seek to acknowledge the ways in which cultural...
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