The Perception of Employer Branding in relation with Organizational Commitment, Organizational Identification and Communication Climate in Higher Education Institutions

by İsmet Burçak Vatansever Durmaz (Author)
©2020 Thesis 186 Pages


Employer branding is a concept which was introduced in 1996 and is defined as «the package of functional, economic and psychological benefits provided by employment, and identified with the employing company» (Amber & Barrow, 1996).
Even though the concept was originally introduced as a marketing term, latterly the employer branding terminology has entered the human resource management world. Organizations have to work on the desired level of employer branding internally and also externally to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. Organizations focused mostly on attracting and recruiting talents in a wide range of competitive environment which is influenced by a «war for talents». Employer branding is also known as an effective mechanism which is related to the internal value perceptions on the organizations.
The Higher Education industry, which is one of the biggest service industries in the world, has to give importance to the term «employer branding» for external and also internal stakeholders. Since the idea of the universities has changed, it forces universities to be one of the growth industries. This growth generates some important and critical challenges on working conditions of academics and also administrative personnel in higher education institutions (HEIs).

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Acknowledgment
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • 1 Employer Branding
  • 1.1 Relations Between Employer Branding and HR Functions
  • 1.1.1 Selection and assignment
  • 1.1.2 Education and development
  • 1.1.3 Performance management
  • 1.1.4 Career management
  • 1.2 Theoretical Principles of Employer Branding
  • 1.2.1 Organizational ecology theory
  • 1.2.2 Organizational attractiveness frame
  • 1.2.3 Psychological contract theory
  • 1.2.4 Person-Environment fit theory
  • 1.2.5 Characteristics and Objectives of Employer Branding
  • 1.3 The Process of Creating an Employer Branding
  • 1.4 Importance of Employer Branding
  • 1.5 The Needs for a Successful Employer Brand and Its Results
  • 1.6 Dimensions of Employer Branding
  • 1.7 Importance of Employer Branding in Higher Education Institutions
  • 2 Organizational Commitment
  • 2.1 The Concept of Organizational Commitment
  • 2.2 Effective Elements on Organizational Commitment
  • 2.2.1 Communication
  • 2.2.2 Job satisfaction
  • 2.2.3 Organizational trust
  • 2.2.4 Organizational discipline
  • 2.2.5 Promotion
  • 2.2.6 Organizational culture
  • 2.2.7 Manager profile
  • 2.2.8 Organizational management approach
  • 2.3 Dimensions of Organizational Commitment
  • 2.3.1 Affective commitment
  • 2.3.2 Continuous commitment
  • 2.3.3 Normative commitment
  • 2.4 Responsibility of Organizations and Employees on Organizational Commitment
  • 2.5 Levels of Organizational Commitment
  • 2.5.1 Low level of organizational commitment
  • 2.5.2 Mid-level of organizational commitment
  • 2.5.3 High level of organizational commitment
  • 2.6 Indicators of Organizational Commitment
  • 2.7 Importance of Organizational Commitment
  • 2.8 Organizational Commitment in Higher Education Institutions
  • 3 Organizational Identification
  • 3.1 Organizational Identity
  • 3.2 Tools and Indicators of Organizational Identity
  • 3.3 Organizational Identification
  • 3.4 Social Identity Theory
  • 3.5 Antecedents and Consequences of Organizational Identification
  • 3.6 Main Differences Between Organizational Identification and Commitment
  • 3.7 Organizational Identification in Higher Education Institutions
  • 4 Communication Climate
  • 4.1 The Concept of Communication Climate
  • 4.2 Supportive and Defensive Communication Climates
  • 4.2.1 Defensive communication climate
  • Evaluation
  • Control
  • Strategy
  • Neutrality
  • Superiority/Domination
  • Certainty
  • 4.2.2 Supportive communication climate
  • Provisionalism
  • Empathy
  • Being egalitarian
  • Spontaneity
  • Problem Orientation
  • Description
  • 4.3 Studies About Communication Climate
  • 4.4 The Role of Leaders in Communication Climate
  • 4.5 Communicatıon Climate in Higher Education Institutions
  • Methodology
  • 1 Aim of the Study and Research Questions
  • 2 Model of the Study and Hypotheses
  • 3 Hypothesis Development
  • 3.1 Independent Variable-Employer Branding
  • 3.2 Dependent Variables
  • 3.2.1 Organizational commitment
  • 3.2.2 Organizational identification
  • 3.2.3 Communication climate and moderating effect of communication climate
  • 3.3 Control Variables
  • 4 Measurement Scales
  • 4.1 Employer Branding
  • 4.2 Organizational Commitment
  • 4.3 Organizational Identification
  • 4.4 Communication Climate
  • 5 Preliminary Study
  • 6 Data Collection Method and Procedure
  • 7 Statistical Analysis Used
  • 8 Participants
  • Results
  • 1 Correlation Analysis
  • 2 Explanatory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Reliability Test of the Scales
  • 2.1 Employer Branding
  • 2.2 Communication Climate
  • 2.3 Organizational Identification
  • 2.4 Organizational Commitment
  • 3 Configural and Metric Invariance Tests
  • 4 Confirmatory Factor Analysis
  • 5 Test of Convergent and Divergent Validity
  • 5.1 Convergent Validity
  • 5.2 Divergent Validity
  • 6 Common Method Bias
  • 7 Hypotheses Testing
  • 7.1 Testing of Direct Relationships
  • 7.2 Testing of Moderating Relationships
  • 8 Multigroup Analyses of Control Variables
  • Conclusion & Discussion
  • 1 General Results and Theoretical Implications
  • 2 Managerial Implications
  • 3 Limitations and Future Research
  • 4 Conclusion
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • Bibliography


“If you need the right people on the bus to deliver your strategic intent, you first need to ensure that you make your bus attractive to the right people”

(Mosley 2007)

It has become very important to create value in the eyes of employees as well as for consumers to provide competitive advantage for companies. One of the factors that companies should implement is to create a brand name in order to be able to create this value. Around these conditions, within the global marketplace, “brand” has become one of the most important factors which shape employee behavior and performance. Brands do not only meet the physical needs of the consumer, but they also fulfill the psychological needs of their employees. Employees give importance to the brand which they work for in order to put themselves out. Organizations notice the brand which they own in the market in relation to their competitors and with this distinguished brand it creates customer and employee satisfaction. Therefore, the value of a brand has become directly related to the perceptions and feelings of employees about the company.

The value of a brand is related to the employer branding term which is firstly introduced as a marketing term, and latterly this terminology enters the human resource management world. Organizations have to work on the desired level of employer branding internally and also externally to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. (Sehgal and Malati 2013)

According to the employer branding term, employees think that a company is the “best place to work”. The employer brand plays an active role in bringing successful staff to the company. Organizations’ brand attracts the candidate personnel to the company and in this respect the firm has the chance to choose the best personnel. In the employer brand management activity, the main purpose is to keep existing customers (current employees) while attracting new customers (potential candidates and potential employees). As well as in the consumer brand, emotional and rational benefits offered by the employer to the employees (current/potential employees) should be foregrounded in the employer’s brand perspective. (Baş 2011a, p.29–30)

Today’s companies have realized the importance of internal customers as well as their external customers in marketing their products and services. In this context, the concept of employer brand has become not only one of the important ←13 | 14→developments of the 1990s but also a concept considered by many companies (Tüzüner et al. 2009).

For creating employer branding perspective, a supportive environment should be created within the organization. This understanding should not be isolated; it should be spread out to each level and department within the organization. Also, in order to be effective for the employer brand, a good communication network is needed. Besides that, a strong employer brand increases the level of commitment of employees as well as their motivation and performance, employee references, managerial satisfaction, a strong organizational culture, competitive power and decline in recruitment cost. In addition, it has been observed that those who think that their work activities are meaningful, targeted and valuable are more successful in their work life and their emotional health is stronger.

According to the Modway, Steers and Porter (1979), commitment to the company is the belief that increases the interest of the company through employee behavior. Also, commitment is determined by the employee’s goals and objectives, and along with that, employee’s efforts to achieve those goals and ensuring continuity in the company. Commitment to the organization is that the employee has a high sense of belonging, especially because of his emotional attachment, can embrace it and act in harmony with the company. (Kryger Aggerholm et al. 2011)

Organizations have to work consistently and continuously to have a strong employer brand. At this point, an organization’s communication efforts have a key role in having and maintaining a strong employer brand. In the process of employer brand management, establishing good relationships with existing and potential employees as well as with all other stakeholders depends on effective communication efforts. Corporate communication and public relations departments, human resources departments and marketing departments have to work collaborately for directing and managing internal and external communication studies.

Organizational structures have begun to change with the employer brand and the importance of internal communication has increased. The solidity and quality of communication with the employees within the organization is also important in terms of the preference of the potential employees of the organization (Foster et.al., 2010).

In an organization with an employer brand, dedicated employees are encouraged to be included in major decision-making processes about the operation. Besides that, the employees set their own goals and make great effort to reach those goals. The aim is to improve the workforce that is connected to organizational values and objectives. Therefore, in the process of employer brand ←14 | 15→management, organizations have to ensure the consistency in communication messages for potential and current employees (Ariffin 2014).

It is easier to plan, carry out and coordinate the activities in organizations where the communication system is effective. Organizations aim to increase the sense of sharing in their employees by establishing an effective communication system and to reduce negative conflict and pressure in the business environment. Through communication, employees are connected to each other, thus facilitating the processing of organizational functions more effectively and efficiently. Many researchers have stated that organizational communication climate improves the productivity and performance of employees and provides positive organizational benefits. At the same time, effective communication within the organization also influences organizational structure, culture, relationships among employees, the use of technology, the flow of authority, employee behaviors and performances. Effective and open communication climate always brings good performance to the organizations (Buchholz et al. 2001, p.3).

An open communication climate is a form of communication in which employees communicate their complaints and views without hesitation to their managers, freely discuss their opinions among themselves and freely transfer information and concerns about processes through horizontal and vertical channels. Such communication can be best described as supporting, participatory and reliable communication (Buchholz et al. 2001, p.3).

An increase in the organizational commitment of employees can be observed when a number of activities are carried out in order to recognize and meet the expectations of the employees from the institutions through internal communication climate (Bartels et al. 2007).

In connection with all these matters, the extent to which members of the organization acquire sufficient and accurate information from their organizations, the degree of identification increases. In addition, the organizational identification of an organization member is shaped by how often it communicates and the content of interaction. Andrews Basler and Coller (1999) stated that employees who play a central role in the communication network are much more strongly identified with their organizations. Besides that, several studies indicate that an employee’s status affects the power of identification (Dutton et al. 1994). Di Sanza and Bullis (1999) have analyzed that identification is a result of different elements and stated that effective communication established by management is an important element in establishing the identity of the member within the organization. It is expected that the leader will create a positive communication climate for the maintenance and strengthening of positive work behaviors. It is also expected that the leader has to create an identity to motivate the employee. ←15 | 16→It is also important that communication between managers and employees or with others frequently within the organization creates a sense of belonging, commitment and identification. Providing such identity and commitment facilitates the organizational communication and also creates a better understanding of common goals and values (Di Sanza and Bullis 1999).


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2020 (January)
Employer branding Organizational commitment Organizational identification Communication climate Higher education institutions
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 186 pp., 22 fig. b/w, 22 tables.

Biographical notes

İsmet Burçak Vatansever Durmaz (Author)

Ismet Burçak Vatansever Durmaz completed her undergraduate studies at Istanbul Bilgi University, Business Administration, Stage Performing Arts Management and at the Business Administration Department of the University of Portsmouth. She obtained a Master’s degree in Education Management and her PhD in Business Administration from Bahçeşehir University, Graduate School of Social Sciences. Ismet Burçak Vatansever Durmaz has been working in different sectors at Bahçeşehir University for nearly 17 years.


Title: The Perception of Employer Branding in relation with Organizational Commitment, Organizational Identification and Communication Climate in Higher Education Institutions