Employee Branding:
Enterprising selves in service of the brand


Employee branding is a new twist on identity regulation. Employee branding shapes employees’ behavior so that they project the brand identity of their organization’s products through their everyday work behavior. Employee branding is intended to induce employee-brand identification, a psychological connection between the employee and the brand, to provide an unobtrusive, seemingly unproblematic engine for “on brand behavior”. To introduce organizational scholars to issues involved in employee branding, this essay outlines some of the assumptions, tactics and practices of employee branding. I draw on theories from marketing and organizational studies to define employee-brand identification and to develop a preliminary model of how employee branding programs could induce employee-brand identification. In addition, I raise questions about the relationships between the organization, the employee, and the brand that employee branding reinforces, and propose directions for future research.


Please click on the link below to go to the full paper. Please let me know if you are citing it in your own work.

2/20/11 — I’ve taken down the link to the paper– after getting an email that let me know that a large part of the paper appeared uncredited in someone else’s paper, which was submitted to a conference. If you’d like a copy of the paper, just email me and I’ll be happy to send it to you. cv harquail at authentic organizations dot com

Jan 2014 — Never mind, I’ve put the paper back up here, since it’s hard to keep up with requests for it. Please enjoy, and let me know what parts of the work you find interesting.

Employee Branding Enterprising Selves Harquail (pdf)