Title

Employer image and employer branding: What we know and what we need to know

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-2016

Abstract

In this article, we review theory and research on employer image and employer branding published since 2001. The review is wide ranging. First, we define employer image and distinguish it from similar constructs such as reputation and identity. We find that the literature has used two conceptualizations of images: an elementalistic perspective (e.g., distinction between symbolic and instrumental organizational attributes) and a holistic perspective (i.e., overall ratings of organizational attractiveness). Second, we discuss the effects of favorable organizational images, including better recruitment outcomes, more differentiation, stronger emotional bonds, and financial returns. Third, we review the antecedents and formation of image with a focus on organizational (e.g., recruiters) and nonorganizational sources [e.g., word of mouth (WOM)]. Fourth, we discuss the theoretical mediating mechanisms responsible for image effects and the moderators of image-outcome relationships. Finally, we address practical implications in the form of employer brand management and provide future research suggestions.

Keywords

Employer image, employer image management, recruitment, signaling theory, social identity theory, organizational attractiveness

Discipline

Human Resources Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior

Volume

3

First Page

407

Last Page

440

ISSN

2327-0608

Identifier

10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-041015-062501

Publisher

Annual Reviews

Additional URL

https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-041015-062501

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