The relationship between employees' perceptions of Solidarity's corporate brand and their CSR project, Helping Hands
Van der Kooy, Lydia
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The focus of marketing for modern companies who have a high profile and who are constantly in public view has shifted from traditional marketing to one of having and enhancing relationships with stakeholders, including their employees. As stakeholders’ perceptions of a company are important, it has become necessary for such a company to determine which factors influence the stakeholders’ relationship with the company and ultimately influences their perceptions. Companies are being held accountable by their stakeholders for all that is said and done and are expected to include responsibility to society and the environment as a core part of company strategy. Given that corporate branding plays such an important role in the formation of perceptions of employees, companies should present themselves in such a way that stakeholders (including employees) are able to understand the company values, involvement and direction. As such employees’ perceptions regarding the company’s CSR and corporate brand can largely influence their relationship with the company. The Solidarity Movement is a company with a rich history within the mine workers union and trade union sectors, operating in extremely diverse environments, with stakeholders having various expectations of the company. The company was recently restructured with various companies merging under the Solidarity Movement corporate brand. Solidarity Helping Hand forms part of the Solidarity Movement and fulfils the company’s CSR in the community. Diverse studies on CSR and corporate branding have been done. To date, no examples of research of the possible influence of CSR on corporate branding within the trade union sector could be traced. Against this background, the following research question is asked: What is the relationship between employees’ perceptions of the Solidarity Movement’s CSR project, Helping Hand, and their perceptions of the Solidarity Movement’s corporate brand? A quantitative questionnaire was applied as data collection method. The results confirmed that employees perceived the Solidarity Movement’s corporate brand and CSR in a positive light and felt that they could identify with the company’s CSR and that they contributed to the corporate brand of the company. With regard to the correlation between CSR and corporate branding, this study indicated a relationship between employee’s perceptions of the company’s CSR projects and their perceptions of the corporate brand. The fact that employees could identify with the company’s CSR and its focus, viewed Solidarity Helping Hand as aligned with the business strategy of the Solidarity Movement and felt that this resulted in them wanting to have a long-term relationship with the company impacted most on perceptions of the corporate brand.
- Humanities