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What makes an organisation's corporate identity attractive to its employees? A social identity perspective

By Rachael Maxwell


Corporate Identity provides the foundation for an organisation’s Corporate Brand, and managers need to understand how they can align the behaviour of their employees with that identity. In this thesis I argue that employees will align their behaviour with the identity of their organisation when they perceive that identity to be attractive and unique. This argument is supported by theory and research in the areas of Employer Branding and the Social Identity Approach to Organisational Identification. However, little is known about what makes an organisation’s Corporate Identity attractive to its employees. The objective of my research was to address this gap by conducting a comparative case study of six organisations. The identity of each organisation was found to be comprised of five dimensions: Organisation, Employment, Product or Service, Reputation, and Stakeholder Relationships. The attributes that employees considered most attractive were different in each organisation, but when all six cases were considered at once, they encompassed all five dimensions. These results suggest that current conceptualizations of the Employer Brand, which focus solely on employment, may be overly restrictive. They also indicate that the strategy of becoming an Employer of Choice, though widely considered a ‘business imperative’, is unlikely to have the desired effect on employee behaviour; this strategy is based on the assumption that organisations should conform to an ‘ideal blueprint of employment’, but the results clearly indicate that this blueprint does not exist. In order to align the behaviour of their employees with the identity of their organisation, managers should seek to understand the unique identity of their own organisation and to determine what makes that identity attractive to their employees. This may be achieved in an efficient and cost-effective manner by following the methodology outlined in this thesis

Publisher: Cranfield University
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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  1. (1997). Dimensions of brand personality’ doi
  2. (1993). Emotional labor in service roles: the influence of identity’ Academy of management review doi
  3. (2003). Rediscovering the social group: a self categorization theory
  4. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behaviour’ doi
  5. (2000). When cymbals become symbols: conflict over organizational identity within a symphony orchestra’ doi

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