The Roles of Internal Branding Practices and Transformational Leadership in Internal Brand Management

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Houyi Zhu

Abstract

During the past decade, the importance of internal branding has been increasingly acknowledged in the branding literature. However, the existing literature is still limited, and lacking in any holistic conceptual model to provide a full picture of internal branding issues. This study examines the roles of internal branding practices and transformational leadership in internal brand management. Drawing on social identity theory, this study developed a holistic conceptual model, integrating 7 key constructs from 6 disciplines, and formulated 11 hypotheses. Survey data were collected from 794 frontline and back office employees in a fashion retailer in India and analysed using the scaled maximum likelihood (ML) estimation based structural equation modelling. The results of structural equation analysis showed that the majority of hypotheses were supported by the data. In particular, this study supports the hypotheses that internal communication and transformational leadership have direct influences on affective commitment to an organisation, and that employee training and internal communication have direct influences on brand orientation. This study also supports the mediating effects of employees' attitudes towards internal branding on the relationships between internal communication, employee training, transformational leadership, and employee service performance. However, the findings of this study reject the hypotheses that transformational leadership has a significant influence on brand orientation, and that employee training has a significant influence on affective commitment to an organisation. One unexpected link between brand orientation and employee service performance was identified. This study contributes to the body of knowledge on internal branding in terms of theory, methodology, and management practice. In particular, this study adopted a multi-disciplinary approach, has developed and validated the holistic conceptual model, confirmed, challenged, and extended the existing theoretical propositions. To conclude, this study has demonstrated that internal branding practices and transformational leadership play crucial roles in internal brand management, which could be a foundation for further internal branding research.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date1 Aug 2014