The Unintended Negative Effects of Employer Branding: A Perceived Brand Promise Breach - A Quantitative Investigation of How Employees Perceive a Breach in a Brand Promise Created by Employer Branding
Abstract: Employer branding (EB) has been praised for many years as a great tool for attracting, recruiting and retaining talented employees. In an increasingly competitive employment environment, more organisations than ever are investing more resources than ever into their employer brands. With an overemphasis on EB as a talent attraction tool (external EB) over the last decade, in terms of making promises about certain aspects of the employment to appear attractive to potential employees, research has yet to provide sufficient knowledge connecting the actions taken in external EB with the scarcely researched perspective of internal EB. While little is known about what happens if brand promises made in external EB are perceived to not be fulfilled once employed from the perspective of current employee's perceptions, this thesis aims to bridge the two perspectives of EB together. With a quantitative approach, 171 recently hired employees from several organisations were surveyed. The results reveal that if employees perceive brand promises to not be fulfilled, it will have a significant negative effect on their intention to stay, organisational commitment, job satisfaction, and brand advocacy. The results also found a moderating effect demonstrating that when employees perceive the employer to have high external prestige, it eliminates the negative effects on organisational commitment coming from a perceived brand promise breach. While previous knowledge about EB is relatively scarce and mostly limited to the positive effects of creating an attractive employer brand, this study sheds light on important unintended negative effects of EB, providing valuable implications for both research and practitioners.
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