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Internal branding and sustainability: investigating perceptions of employees

Galina Biedenbach (Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden)
Siarhei Manzhynski (Belarusian State Technological University, Minsk, Belarus)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 16 May 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate perceptual differences between employees characterized by various levels of internal brand commitment and sustainability importance. The identified clusters of employees are compared considering the main determinants of internal brand commitment and their evaluations of a company’s sustainability performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted among employees of industrial companies operating in Belarus. Two hundred thirty-eight responses were analyzed by using the K-means cluster analysis. The analysis of variance was applied for evaluating differences between the three identified clusters.

Findings

Based on internal brand commitment and sustainability importance, the paper identifies three alternative clusters of employees: uncommitted sustainability laggards, committed sustainability followers and committed sustainability leaders. The results show that the three clusters differ in regard to the main determinants of internal brand commitment, which are brand orientation, internal brand knowledge and internal brand involvement. The findings demonstrate significant perceptual differences between the three clusters regarding their evaluations of a company’s sustainability performance. The assessment of sustainability performance focuses on sustainability objectives, sustainability policies and sustainability decision-making and disclosure.

Research limitations/implications

The study was conducted in the context of a transition economy. Future studies are recommended to develop a cross-cultural comparison of relationships between employees’ perceptions about sustainability performance, different determinants and the outcomes of internal brand commitment.

Originality/value

The paper makes a theoretical contribution to research on internal branding and sustainability by examining the potential interrelationships between internal branding strategies and sustainability performance.

Keywords

Citation

Biedenbach, G. and Manzhynski, S. (2016), "Internal branding and sustainability: investigating perceptions of employees", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 296-306. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-06-2015-0913

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited