Seasonal Employees as Brand Ambassadors? - A Bachelor Thesis about Management Strategies for Seasonal Employee Commitment and Brand Ambassadorship

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för tjänstevetenskap

Abstract: Today, the majority of employees in the tourism industry work under contingent and fairly insecure working conditions, among them seasonal employees. In this industry, the business of amusement parks and resort hotels is one with a high quota of seasonally hired front-line employees. Research from Human Resource Manage¬ment pinpoints the underlying risks of low commitment among employees in an industry afflicted by insecurity and short-term contracts. Committed employees are nevertheless desirable for service organizations because of their loyalty and engagement. Research from Internal Marketing shed light on employees as the ones that define the brand, which shines through in every service encounter. By combining these two research fields, a connection arises between committed employees, service quality and representation of brands by employees. For the amusement park and resort hotel business, the high quota of seasonal employees becomes a challenge due to the risks of lacking commitment and employee turnover. Due to the fact that these brands can be famous and associated to entertainment as well as high service, the contribution from front-line employees becomes crucially important. Their commitment is important because they need to serve as brand ambassadors. From a management perspective, three theoretical key factors for committed brand ambassadorship have been identified: orientation, benefits and socialization between co-workers. In respect of exploring how the challenges and brand ambassadorship are dealt with in reality, a comparative case study has been made between two brands in the business by the support of empirics from interviews, observations and consultation of company material. The analysis has led up to three conclusions. The conclusions highlight that committed brand ambassador¬ship is taken seriously by management as seasonal employees are considered to be of high value for the brands and the organizations as a whole. However, challenges for achieving committed brand ambassador¬ship are addressed only to a certain extent, withheld by limitations attached to seasonal employ¬ment and real-life circumstances. As it turns out, a gap between theory and practice calls for further research about seasonal employees as assets for brand representation, specifically for this complex business.

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