Therationale of this essay is to provide a critical review of the academic journalarticle titled, ‘Do your internal branding efforts measure up?: Consumers’response to brand supporting behaviours of hospitality employees? by Erkmen andHancer (2015).
After the introduction, there are four main items that will beaddressed throughout this review, in greater detail. The first item that willbe covered is the rational of the article, where the article’s core purpose andaims will be addressed. This item is followed by an explanation of what the authorsdo in order to answer any questions or address the issues that their studyraised. This is then followed by an evaluation of the findings of the study andthe contributions made to the academic community and other interested parties.The last item to be addressed will be the strengths and weaknesses of the article,which will be followed by a conclusion highlighting the key points of theessay, with a brief reflection on what has been learnt from this particulararticle during the process of producing this critical review. According to Erkmen and Hancer (2015: 878) the purpose of the study was toproperly “understand how brand citizenship behaviours of hospitality from theemployee, effects a customers’ relation with a company and its brand”.
This ispremised on the argument that customers create their ownpositive or negative impressions of a company and its relations with its brandthrough their own personal interactions with the employee (Wyld, 2015).Alongside the main purpose of Erkmens and Hancers (2015) model, the core questionsand issues is to whether “there is a link between the employee behaviours tothe customer evaluation of the brands performance, brand trust and brandcommitment?” (Erkmen and Hancer, 2015:878). While discussing their research’simplications, Erkmens and Hancers is given reason to think that the resultsthis study and article may be of interest to the owners of hospitality organisationsbecause it could help them to improve the brand supporting behaviours of theiremployees to secure, “long-term relationships not only with customers but alsowith employees in a labour-intensive and high customer industry” (Erkmen andHancer, 2015:878).
In regard to discovering any gaps in the existingliterature, previous researchers have combined “three bodies of literature(corporate, internal and employer branding)” (Foster et al.,2010:401), in order tounderstand the correlation between the employee’s behaviours and brandperformance from the perspective of mangers andthe employees but the not the customers. Therefore, thisallowed Erkmen and Hancer (2015) to fill the literature gap, within their academicjournal article gap by focusing on the consumers and howtheir evaluation of the brands performance is affected by employees brandbehaviours. The biases of the complete academic journal article, is the Erkmensand Hancers (2015) assumptions that the hospitality behaviours of employees dohave an impact on consumers perceptions and relations with the brand.
For Erkmens and Hancers (2015) toaddress and answer their assumptions, they carried out extensive research onthe employees and customers of corporate Turkish Airline Company. The research method that Erkmens and Hancers(2015) used was a survey. This survey method was appropriate for the authors’research, as it is a form of primary research which provided a higher level ofreliability within the results. This research method was also appropriate forErkmens and Hancers (2015) research because it can provide consistentquantitative descriptions (“data that is in the form of numbers” (Punch, 1998:4)of attitudes or opinions of a large population (Creswell, 2009:147); as opposed to other research methods (i.e. Interviews orobservations) that would that would provide qualitative data (‘data that is notin the form of numbers” (Punch, 1998:4), which would make the data harder toanalysis from large-scale data sets according to Carr (1994).
Two different surveys were distributed out to the customer contact employees(flight attendants), who were asked to choose two customers (airlinepassengers) on the flight to also distribute the surveys to. In total, 523responses from flight attendants and 1,046 responses from the selected airlinepassengers, were collected from the survey and used to analysis. The data thatwas collected form the surveys was analysed together in a proposed conceptualmodel, with the use of data aggregation within the model. Sekaran and Bougie(2010) defines a conceptual model is a schematic diagram that provides a visualdescription of theorized relationships between concepts orideas within the model. Alongside this, Erkmen and Hancer (2015:884) collected “previousmeasurement scales from existing scales” exploring reliability and validity, tobe measured and compared against the main contrast of the study (e.g.
brandcitizenship behaviours and customer brand performance) and the data collectedfrom the survey. By Erkmen and Hancer (2015) using existing scales strengthenstheir study and results because it allowed them to “verify the findings oftheir study and to build on the work of others” (Sekaran and Bougie, 2010: 131).At the beginning of Erkmens and Hancers (2015) research, theoreticaldiscussions and set of hypotheses were proposed and put into a hypothesizedconceptual model, to ‘illustrate how employees brand citizenship behavioursinfluence consumers’ perception of brand performance as well as their relationdevelopment with the brand” (Erkmen and Hancer, 2015:883). As a form ofpreliminary analysis, Erkmen and Hancer (2015) used confirmatory factoranalysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM), to analysis thehypothesized conceptual.
A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) “is a statisticaltechnique used to verify the factor structure of a set of observed variables”(Suhr, 2016a:1). A structural equation modelling (SEM) is “a methodology forrepresenting, estimating, and testing a network of relationships betweenvariables (measured variables and latent constructs)” (Suhr, 2006b). Erkmensand Hancers (2015) use of preliminary analysis was advantage their study, as itallowed the authors to analysis the relationship and correlation between brandcitizenship behaviours, brand performance and customers relation with thebrand, in great depth.