Is there a bigger and better future for employer branding? Facing up to innovation, corporate reputations and wicked problems in SHRM

G. Martin, P. J. Gollan, Kerry Grigg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    63 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Employer branding is becoming an increasingly important topic for research and practice in multinational enterprises (MNEs) because it plays directly into their corporate reputation, talent management and employee engagement agendas. In this paper, we argue that the potential effects of employer branding have yet to be fully understood because current theory and practice have failed to connect this internal application of marketing and branding to the key reputational and innovation agendas of MNEs, both of which are at the heart of another strategic agenda – effective corporate governance. However, these agendas are characterised by ‘wicked problems’ in MNEs, which have their origins in competing logics in strategic human resource management (SHRM). These problems need to be articulated and understood before they can be addressed. This paer proceeds by (1) setting out a definition and model of employer branding and how it potentially articulates with corporate governance, innovation and organisational reputations, (2) discussing and analysing the ‘wicked problems’ resulting from the sometimes contradictory logics underpinning innovation and corporate reputations and SHRM in MNEs and (3) evaluating the potential of employer branding as a contribution to the third SHRM approach – HR strategy-inaction – as a way of resolving three particularly wicked problems in MNEs. We conclude with some ideas for research and practice on the future for empl
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3618-3637
    Number of pages20
    JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
    Volume22
    Issue number17
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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    Human resource management
    Innovation
    Industry
    Marketing
    Wicked problems
    Multinational enterprises
    Corporate reputation
    Branding
    Strategic human resource management
    Employers
    Personnel
    Agenda

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Employer branding is becoming an increasingly important topic for research and practice in multinational enterprises (MNEs) because it plays directly into their corporate reputation, talent management and employee engagement agendas. In this paper, we argue that the potential effects of employer branding have yet to be fully understood because current theory and practice have failed to connect this internal application of marketing and branding to the key reputational and innovation agendas of MNEs, both of which are at the heart of another strategic agenda – effective corporate governance. However, these agendas are characterised by ‘wicked problems’ in MNEs, which have their origins in competing logics in strategic human resource management (SHRM). These problems need to be articulated and understood before they can be addressed. This paer proceeds by (1) setting out a definition and model of employer branding and how it potentially articulates with corporate governance, innovation and organisational reputations, (2) discussing and analysing the ‘wicked problems’ resulting from the sometimes contradictory logics underpinning innovation and corporate reputations and SHRM in MNEs and (3) evaluating the potential of employer branding as a contribution to the third SHRM approach – HR strategy-inaction – as a way of resolving three particularly wicked problems in MNEs. We conclude with some ideas for research and practice on the future for empl",
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