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Corporate rebrandings from an employee perspective : an evaluation of the rebranding process and the perceived personal & organizational effects

Doeschot, M.M. (2015) Corporate rebrandings from an employee perspective : an evaluation of the rebranding process and the perceived personal & organizational effects.

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Abstract:Purpose – The importance of an organization’s appearance strongly increased during the past years. As a consequence, numerous organizations nowadays consider and decide to rebrand. As employees are identified significant actors of the organization, also in times of organizational change, a better understanding of (internal) effects of corporate rebranding processes was required. Thus far scientific research lacks to point out in what way a rebranding affects employees of an organization and studies investigating the concept of corporate rebranding nearly all rely on quantitative research methodologies. This study therefore aims to generate more in-depth insight in how a corporate rebranding affects employees of an organization and in particular, the perceived effects on organizational identity and organizational identification. Methodology – Four organizations that recently underwent a rebranding took part in this study and from each organization five employees were selected (n= 20). Four case descriptions provide further detail on how the corporate rebranding process of each organization is managed. By means of semi-structured interviews (study 1) and a Q-sort (study 2) it was examined how participants experienced the rebranding process of their organization and what personal and organizational consequences of the corporate rebranding they perceived. Findings – The results of both studies combined revealed that most often negatively evaluated were employee communication, the absence of a substantiation of a rationale for the rebranding, the costs of the rebranding, the length of the rebranding process and the completeness of the replacement of the old CVI. Evaluated positively most often were the fit of the new CVI with the organization, the appreciation of the new CVI, and the impact of the rebranding on the organization’s visibility, recognizability and distinctiveness. Minimal effects on the organizational identity or organizational identification were perceived. Only some differences were uncovered in employees’ beliefs of distinctive features of the organization. Conclusion – It can be concluded that the effects of a corporate rebranding on employees, at least in the case of the four participating organizations in this study, are negligible. For the reason that the results of this qualitative study cannot be generalized to rebranding cases of other organizations, it is possible that in future studies other rebranding outcomes will be found.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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