Examining the drivers of employee brand understanding : a longitudinal study
Murillo Othón, Enrique
MetadataShow full item record
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to extend previous research by using a longitudinal design to examine the differential contribution of brand understanding (BU) drivers at various moments in the early tenure of service employees. Employee BU is a prerequisite of brand promise delivery among service employees. Previous studies, using cross-sectional samples, established that brand-oriented recruitment, training and leadership are significant BU drivers. Design/methodology/approach: A three-wave survey was collected from a 105-member panel of recent hires at a restaurant chain that displayed a strong brand culture and adopted internal brand management (IBM) practices. Structural equation models with carryover effects were estimated to measure the impact of BU drivers on Day 1, as well as at four and seven months of tenure. In addition, a latent growth model of BU was estimated using random coefficients modeling. Findings: Results show a significant positive effect of IBM practices on BU at each point in time; however, despite this, by the seven month milestone, BU is still not fully developed. Research limitations/implications: As with most organizational longitudinal studies, there was sample attrition because of the high turnover that characterizes the restaurant industry. This attrition is not believed to be correlated with the variables measured in the study. Practical implications: Managers seeking a differentiated customer experience should not assume new hires attain a good understanding of the service brand even after the first seven months of tenure. Hence, brand training and leadership should extend well beyond this time frame. Originality/value: This study is the first, as per the authors’ understanding, to use a longitudinal design to model BU as a dynamic variable because it befits the learning trajectories of new employees. © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited.