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Employee retention: the effects of internal branding and brand attitudes in sales organizations

Decha Dechawatanapaisal (Chulalongkorn Business School, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 3 April 2018




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships among internal branding, brand orientation, brand identification, brand commitment, and employees’ intention to stay. The paper also examines the mediating roles played by brand identification and brand commitment on the relationship between brand orientation and retention.


Data were collected from 702 business-to-business salespeople working in 15 cement and building materials companies in Thailand. Hypotheses were tested and analyzed by means of a confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and a bootstrapping procedure.


The results revealed that establishing an internal brand has a positive effect on brand orientation, which has a positive impact on brand attitudes, namely brand commitment and brand identification. Such attitudes in turn are positively related to employee retention. The direct relationship between brand orientation and intention to stay was found to be partially mediated by brand identification.

Research limitations/implications

The current research took place among customer-facing staff (e.g. salespeople), which can be extended to back-end employees in order to better reflect the overall internal branding effort.

Practical implications

Organizations may improve employee retention through an internal branding process, and internalization of brand attitudes. Such efforts are not only the job of brand managers, but a shared responsibility of all employees at all levels. The collaboration between brand management and human resource (HR) interventions is crucial to successfully implement these efforts.


This study extends the existing knowledge by investigating the relationships that have rarely been discussed in the HR management and employee retention literatures. It shows the importance of a brand-building mechanism at the cultural level, and the influential effect of brand attitudes on the turnover of salespeople.



Dechawatanapaisal, D. (2018), "Employee retention: the effects of internal branding and brand attitudes in sales organizations", Personnel Review, Vol. 47 No. 3, pp. 675-693.



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