Branded Lives
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Branded Lives The Production and Consumption of Meaning at Work

The Production and Consumption of Meaning at Work

Edited by Matthew J. Brannan, Elizabeth Parsons and Vincenza Priola

Branded Lives explores the increasingly popular concept of employee branding as a new form of employment relationship based on brand representation. In doing so it examines the ways in which the production and consumption of meaning at work are increasingly mediated by the brand. This insightful collection draws on qualitative empirical studies in a range of contexts to include services, retail and manufacturing organizations. The contributors explore the nuances of employee branding from various disciplinary standpoints such as: organization studies, marketing, human resource management and industrial relations. They take a critical perspective on work and organizations and document the lived experience of work and employment under branded conditions. In investigating the extent to which a variety of organizational strategies seek to mould workplace meanings and practices to further build and sustain brand value and the effectiveness of these in terms of employee responses, the authors question whether the attempt to ‘brand’ workers’ lives actually enhances or diminishes the meaning and experience of work.
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Chapter 8: The Brand I Call Home? Employee–Brand Appropriation at IKEA

Veronika V. Tarnovskaya


8. The brand I call home? Employee– brand appropriation at IKEA Veronika V. Tarnovskaya Introduction Employee and employer branding have been broadly discussed in the literature as a source of competitive advantage (Rosethorn, 2009; Davies, 2008; Mosley, 2007; Barrow and Mosley, 2005; Miles and Mangold, 2004, 2005, 2007; Ind, 2003; Ambler and Barrow, 1996). Such literature addresses questions such as: What makes employees enthusiastic about their organizations? What makes them satisfied and happy? How do employee work experiences translate into organizational performance? Broadly speaking two perspectives of branding have emerged which reflect different views of the roles of staff in the organization. In one perspective, employee branding represents a view of organizational staff as a vehicle to communicate and manifest the brand to customers and other stakeholders. In this perspective, employee branding is a strong positioning tool towards organization’s stakeholders with an ultimate goal of creating more value for them. The other perspective of employer branding views employees as salient internal stakeholders. This is reflected by the objective of branding to make employees feel valued and give them the sense of belonging by providing them with a good and credible place to work (Ambler and Barrow, 1996). Hence, branding is mainly used as a recruitment tool aimed at employees. There is, however, an implicit notion that satisfied employees will translate into satisfied customers. In spite of the differences in perceived employee roles, both perspectives look at branding as something that is done to, or with the help of, employees, demonstrating...

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