Employee Views of Corporate Reputation and the Influence of the Psychological Contract

  • Tao Xu

Student thesis: Phd


Focusing on corporate identity (i.e. employee view of corporate reputation), this study is an analysis of the employee branding process encompassing an antecedent (PC; psychological contract), a mediator (CI; corporate identity), consequences (OI and OC; organisational identification and commitment), and a covariant (EP; employee personality). Customers and employees are the two most important stakeholder groups of a business organisation. A review of the existing literature suggests that research into corporate reputation predominantly takes a customer perspective. In contrast, the employee view of corporate reputation has rarely attracted academic attention. For this reason, the value of this study is justified not only by the importance of employer brand as a strategic asset that drives competitiveness, but also by the paucity of academic research into the employee branding process over the years. Previous literature suggested that the employee psychological contract directly influences employees‟ organisational commitment. Based on a survey of 390 employees from 14 firms in the UK and China (PRC), a structural equation model has been developed and tested. It shows that the effect of PC is better seen as indirect and operating via corporate identity (i.e. the employee view of corporate reputation) and their sense of identification. Both corporate identity (Agreeableness) and organisational identification have strong influences on employees‟ organisational commitment. Both corporate identity (Agreeableness and Competence) and identification mediate the effect of the psychological contract on commitment. Further, this study shows that the personality of the employee can influence their perceptions of the content of the psychological contract. Employee personality also covaries with their perceptions of corporate identity. This study also has several practical implications. In order to enhance organisational identification and commitment managers need to, first, promote corporate identity dimensions of agreeableness (e.g. friendly, supportive, trustworthy) and competence (e.g. reliable, leading, secure); second, clearly communicate management willingness to offer a series of employment inducements and try to keep these promises. Finally, managers should introduce personality tests into the recruitment and selection process and hire applicants who score high in agreeableness (e.g. friendly, cooperative, compassionate) and conscientiousness (e.g. efficient, organised, achievement-oriented).
Date of Award1 Aug 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGary Davies (Supervisor)


  • Corporate Reputation

Cite this