The Production and Consumption of Meaning at Work
Edited by Matthew J. Brannan, Elizabeth Parsons and Vincenza Priola
Chapter 8: The Brand I Call Home? Employee–Brand Appropriation at IKEA
129 mobilize these meanings in their identity work. I argue that brand meanings are not only imposed on employees by managers in order to achieve marketing goals, but also re-appropriated by them in order to frame their own goals. Thus, employees are viewed as active constructors of brand meaning who appropriate the brand through their specific experiences of the organization. The study seeks to develop a more comprehensive view of employee branding as appropriation work by active employees, sometimes in sync with the managerial intentions, sometimes totally out of sync. It also contributes to the integration of ideas surrounding employee and employer branding, which are still seen in the literature as two separate processes. Theories of employee and employer branding The concept of employee branding combines the traditional view of branding with the internal marketing concept (Miles and Mangold, 2004, 2005, 2007; Mitchell, 2000; Gronroos, 1981). It is defined as ‘the process by which employees internalize the desired brand image and are motivated to project the image to customers and other organisational constituents’ (Miles and Mangold, 2004: 68). These authors speak of employee branding as a strong positioning tool towards customers and other stakeholders. Miles and Mangold (2005) identified that the critical elements of the employee branding process include: the organization’s mission and values, desired brand image, the variety of communication modes, employee’s psyche (knowledge of brand image and psychological contract), employee brand image and consequences for customers and employees. Drawing on evidence from other literature (e.g. Mitchell, 2002), they...
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