عنوان مقاله [English]
The present study aims to examine the impacts of internal branding on supportive attitudes over the brand, job satisfaction and intention to stay among the employees of the University of Mohaghegh Ardabili in Iran. The research population consists of the employees of the University of Mohaghegh Ardabili equal to 330 people. According to the Morgan table, the sample size was 181. However, according to the use of structural equation modeling, at least 200 questionnaires were completed between the staff working in the different units of the university on the basis of the stratified random sampling method. Data collection was conducted by standard questionnaire. The validity was measured based on construct, discriminant and convergent methods and the reliability was examined through Cronbach's alpha coefficient. The questionnaire of Kaewsurin (2012) was used to measure two dimensions of internal branding including brand-centred training and development activities and internal branding communications. Also, the indexes of brand supporting attitudes including brand commitment, brand identification and brand loyalty was measured with using questionnaire of Punjaisri and Wilson (2012). Lastly, the questionnaire of Preez and Bendixen (2014) was used to measure employees' job satisfaction and intention to stay. SmartPLS Software and partial least squares method were used to test the research model. The results show that internal branding has a positive significant impact on brand supportive attitudes and job satisfaction. The impact of job satisfaction also has a significant positive impact on brand supportive attitudes and the employees' intention to stay. Moreover, the significant positive impact of brand supportive attitudes on the employees' intention to stay is confirmed. Moreover, job satisfaction has a mediating role in the relationship between internal branding and brand supportive attitudes. Similarly, brand supportive attitude has a mediating role in the relationship between internal branding and the employees' intention to stay.
The literature of marketing and human resource management indicate that the relations between an organizations and its staff are the bases for the relations between the organization and its customers. Accordingly, a major instrument for achieving such a situation is the emerging concept of internal branding (Herington, Johnson and Scott, 2006). Internal branding is the activities that an organization implements to ensure its managers that a brand promise is being implemented and the staff are appropriately connected to the customers (Yang, Wan and Wu, 2015). One possible outcome of internal branding in organizations is the making of brand behavior among the staff and, in addition, it can help improve employees’ job satisfaction and increase the possibility of keeping them in the organization (Burmann and Zeplin, 2005). There are two main objectives for the present study. The first purpose is to try to develop a model to explain the internal branding in the universities and the supportive behavior of the staff about the brand and the second objective is to evaluate the effect of branding on inner satisfaction the intention to stay of the employees.
Literature review and hypotheses development
Corporates develop an internal branding to persuade employees to support the company's brand. Employees often play an important role in the success of their company branding. As a result, it is said that the more internal branding is powerful in a company, the more is the probability that employees support the company’s brand (Punjaisri and Wilson, 2007). Internal branding can affect the relationship between employees and the brand, so that if employees recognize their relationship with the organization as positive, then their commitment to the organization increases (King and Grace, 2008). Internal branding can improve employees’ loyalty more through internal communications and training. When the management uses internal branding, employees’ job satisfaction and their engagement increase and the likelihood of their leaving the organization reduces (Peltier, Schibrowsky and Nill, 2013). Following are the research hypotheses according to the description provided above:
1. Internal branding affects the supporting attitudes of the employees towards the branding.
2. Internal branding has impacts on the employees’ job satisfaction.
3. Job satisfaction affects the supportive attitudes of the employees towards the branding.
4. Job satisfaction affects the employees’ intention to stay.
5. Supporting attitudes of the employees towards the branding affect employees’ intention to stay.
6. Job satisfaction plays a mediating role in the relationship between internal branding and supporting attitudes of the employees towards branding.
7. Job satisfaction plays a mediating role between the employees’ intention to stay and internal branding.
8. Support attitudes of the employees’ towards branding plays a mediating role between internal branding and employees’ intention to stay.
The research population is the whole staff of the University of Mohaghegh Ardabili (300 people). Data collection was conducted through questionnaire. The sample size was determined by 200 people.
Materials and Methods
The questionnaires were distributed among the employees of different section based on stratified random sampling method. The questionnaire was arranged in three parts: a companying letter, demographic information, and specific questions. Moreover, in order to assess the validity, there were used the three criteria of structure validity, discriminant validity and convergent validity. Reliability of the study was evaluated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient. In order to analyze the data and testing the research model, partial least squares method was used.
Discussion and Results
The results showed that internal branding can improve supportive attitudes towards branding and lead to the university employees’ job satisfaction. Moreover, the employees’ job satisfaction have positively affected their supportive attitudes towards internal branding of the university. In addition, expansion of supportive attitudes towards the brand can strengthen the university managers so as to help the employees’ intention to stay. It was furthermore understood that job satisfaction could develop intermediately the effects of internal branding on supportive attitudes towards the branding and, too, the effects of internal branding on the employees’ intention to stay. Finally, the establishment and development of the supportive attitudes towards branding cause the significant development of branding impacts on the university employees’ intention to stay.
Based on the findings, managers should use internal branding so as to attract the supporting attitudes of the employees towards the brand and their job satisfaction and intention to stay. Planning and implementation of training courses regularly are among the solutions to achieve these goals. In addition to training, managers also can use communication tools to boost internal branding. Replication of this study in other industries could be due to the implementation of inner properties and ultimately to reach a better understanding of the mechanisms causing internal branding. In addition to the marketing approach towards the two training activities and internal branding-based development and internal communications in internal branding, there can be used a norm-based approach to measure the internal branding. The present study was done only in the University of Mohaghegh Ardabili. Therefore, the generalizability of the results to other universities and organizations should be done cautiously. Another limitation of the present study is related to the intrinsic characteristics of the completed questionnaire such as the respondents’ insufficient accuracy.
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