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Title: An exploration of employer branding in the context of a multi-site hotel chain in Northern Ireland
Author: Cooper , Andrea
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis seeks to investigate the concept of employer branding as a way forward for firms concerned with enhancing the commitment and loyalty of their staff and recruiting the most suitable new employees. The aim of this thesis is to develop a holistic conceptual model of employer brand creation and to use it to determine if a large multi site hotel group based in Northern Ireland is an employer brand. The main issue of employer branding is that it falls between two clearly distinct disciplinary areas - that of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) and that of Branding. Whilst the theoretical context is mainly provided by the SHRM literature, the literature review draws upon a number of strands, namely branding, corporate Branding general management, organisation behaviour and human resource management and employer branding literatures. From the extant literature, it was evident that relatively little research has been carried out on the process (Fosler et aI., 2010; Martin et al., 2009; Tiiziiner and Yiiksel, 2009; Moroko and Uncles, 2008; Lievens et al, 2007; Kimpakorn and Dimmitt, 2007; Backhaus and Tikoo, 2004). A qualitative case study research strategy was adopted for this thesis. Twenty-six interviews were held with the managers and employees of the focal organisation and four focus group sessions were conducted consisting of a total of thirty-six respondents. The research focused on a comparison of perceptions of the management and of incumbent and potential employees about the attractiveness of the hotel group as a place to work. The key findings emanating from this thesis was that the focal hotel group is far from being an employer brand. The author identified a lack of consistency, coherence, and compatibility of the perceptions of its management, employees and potential employees about the quality of tbe employment experience in the firm. The study also found that whilst its external communication does not reflect the reality of the experiences of those working in the firm. Furthermore, the experiences of employees, particularly those working BOH, suggest that the articulated corporate vision and values are not a true reflection of many managers' attitudes and behaviour towards them. Until this problem is resolved so that the management is generally believed to act with integrity and to value all employees, there is little point in the corporate communications painting a glowing picture of the Group as a place to work. Finally, the author discusses the usefulness of employer branding as a HRM tool to enhance employee recruitment and retention and presents a number of recommendations for future research, and for organisations undertaking employer branding.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available