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Employee Branding as a Source of Sustainable Competitive Advantage A Study of Two UK Airlines (2010)

Ref: market0057

The best airline brands are those that consistently deliver their promises to their consumers and are able to create a meaningful and lasting value for them. Employees are a crucial constituent of any service brand and are ultimately responsible for delivering the brand promises, but the task of getting employees to live the brand and consistently deliver on all its promises is a huge challenge for the airline sector. Recently the concept of employee branding has elicited academic and practitioner attention that specifically focuses on addressing this challenge. The field of employee branding is relatively new and has only begun to unfold. Now, more than ever, managers have become interested in how this process can help them achieve a sustainable competitive advantage for their organisations. This thesis attempts to find out how employee branding is practised by two UK airlines, how it actually works and how it can be utilised to position the airline in the minds of customers, employees and other stakeholders. An exploratory research study that involved a detailed review of the literature and in-depth qualitative interviews was conducted to gain insights on practitioner perceptions and experiences regarding employee branding. Study findings suggest that there is a general consensus on the main constructs of the employee branding process. Employee branding literature is mostly prescriptive in nature, and there is little evidence on the actual implementation of employee branding within organisations. This study acknowledges this shortcoming by highlighting employee branding practices within UK airlines and also notes that the concept is practised using a rather unstructured and informal approach, which is in agreement with findings that emerged from the literature review. This lack of clarity in the concept of understanding and implementation within the two airlines has very likely affected its legitimacy and success.
  • 14,000 words – 88 pages in length
  • Good use of literature
  • Good in depth analysis
  • Includes interview questions
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for marketing and international business students


1 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
Background to the study
Significance of the study
Thesis structure

2 BRANDS: THE ULTIMATE BUSINESS TOOLS
A historical evolution view of branding
Why are brands so important?
A balanced perspective
Nature and definition of brands
Branding in the 90s; brand categorisation
Is branding in crisis?

3 EMPLOYEE BRANDING
What is Employee and Employer branding?
The link between Employee and Employer Branding
The link between Employee Branding and Internal Marketing
Why the growing interest in employee branding?
Employee Branding
Turning Staff into Brand Ambassadors
Are all Employees, Brand Ambassadors?
The conceptual context of employee branding
The employee brand building process
Establishing a desired image
Use of coherent and consistent communication
Socialisation to enhance the internalisation of core values
The Psychological Contract
Definition of the concept
Violations of the Psychological Contract
Employee Branding and Managing the Psychological Contract
Guideline for Implementation of Employee Branding

4 METHODOLOGY
Research Design
Research perspective
Research type
Pilot Study
The Sample
Data Collection and Analysis
The Instrument

5 CONTENT ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
Analysis of Results
Respondents’ perception of the employee branding concept
Organisation Mission and Values
Desired Brand Image
Internal and External Communications
Human Resource Management Systems
Public Relations and Advertizing
Organisation Culture
Leadership
Feedback Loop
The Psychological Contract

6 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONTRIBUTION, LIMITATIONS AND FURTHER RESEARCH
A discussion of the study findings in relation to the literature reviewed
Contribution
Study Limitations
Areas for Further Study
Conclusion

References

Appendix



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