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Internal market orientation determinants of employee brand enactment

Boukis, Achilleas and Gounaris, Spiros and Lings, Ian (2017) Internal market orientation determinants of employee brand enactment. Journal of Services Marketing, 31 (7). pp. 690-703. ISSN 0887-6045

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    Abstract

    Purpose -- This study aims to explore how the adoption of internal market orientation (IMO) can enhance front-line employee brand enactment within an interpersonal service setting. Insights from equity theory and the person – environment paradigm are drawn upon to develop a theoretical model describing the impact of IMO on employee – organization fit, employee – supervisor fit and employee – job fit and the consequences of IMO on employee brand knowledge and brand identification. Second, the role of various types of fit and brand knowledge/identification for front-line employee brand enactment is confirmed. Design/methodology/approach -- This study draws from service employees in a high-contact customer setting. Findings -- Results uncover two mechanisms for successful internal branding: increasing employee fit with the service environment and enhancing employee brand knowledge. Practical implications -- The study contributes to practice in that the findings outline a realistic understanding of how managerial actions facilitate employees’ alignment with the firm’s brand promise within the realm of the broader organizational context in which service delivery takes place. Originality/value -- The present study contributes in the extant literature as it enables a more holistic view of the drivers of brand-congruent behaviors among front-line employees. Moreover, it has a significant contribution for future researchers as it lays the ground to further examine how employees’ perceptions of internal marketing strategies shape their fit levels with different aspects of their working environment which also affect the internal branding efforts of service organizations.