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Bridging the divide between consumers and employees in brand relationships

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Title: Bridging the divide between consumers and employees in brand relationships
Author(s): Gill-Simmen, Lucy
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: The employee as an advocate for his/her own brand has achieved heightened attention of late. However, despite a wealth of research into consumer-brand relationships, how employees relate to their own brands and subsequently exhibit specific brand-behaviours is poorly understood. Particularly, little attention has been directed towards the concept of the employee as forming brand relationships as compared with consumers. This thesis examines the nature of the employee-brand relationship; more specifically we discuss functional, symbolic and experiential brand value as drivers of employee-brand self-connection and employee-brand identification and subsequently the effect on brand-specific behaviours. Given the relative paucity of literature on employees and brands we adopt a grounded theory approach and conduct a series of in-depth interviews to access employees’ insights and experiences with the brand. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded. The themes that emerge are used to construct a conceptual framework that is subsequently tested using a survey instrument and Structural Equation Modeling. Our findings suggest a number of similarities and differences between the way in which employees relate to the brand and the way in which consumers relate to the brand. Our findings have far reaching implications for academics and practitioners alike.
Content Version: Open Access
Publication Date: Mar-2013
Date Awarded: Jun-2013
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/17843
Advisor: Eisingerich, Andreas
Schildt, Henri
Department: Imperial College Business School
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School PhD theses



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