Employee stakeholders' role in ensuring alignment between employee and organizational branding

Elisabeth Houe Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The aim of this article is to examine the relationship between two different yet overlapping groups with the same goal of representing the business in a consistent way - namely management and employees. In practice though, the management stakeholder group often determines what to communicate, and the employee stakeholder group will usually follow the direction of management. This article forms part of a larger case study of Andelskassen Merkur - a Danish coop bank. Although Freeman's (1984) classical definition of stakeholders is applied as a starting point, the case illustrates why a redefined version by Crane and Ruebottom (2012) may prove more relevant. Stakeholders may construe more than one identity - e.g. be both employees and customers.

As Merkur is a sustainable bank and focuses on supporting sustainable businesses, CSR will be the branding issue of interest. Furthermore, studies have indicated CSR as one of the most important drivers in terms of measuring corporate reputation (Morsing et al, 2008). Merkur does acknowledge the importance of CSR, but chooses not to use this term - instead Merkur uses the term 'sustainability'.

Signs of alignment of stakeholder groups will be identified, and van Leeuwen's (2008) ' Discursive Construction of Legitimation' will be applied to the data where relevant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStakeholders in Action
EditorsRita Cancino, Lise-Lotte Holmgreen
Number of pages28
Place of PublicationAalborg
PublisherAalborg Universitetsforlag
Publication date2014
ChapterSection 2
ISBN (Print)978-87-7112-184-1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Stakeholder
  • communication
  • CSR
  • branding


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