Company versus consumer performance: does brand community identification foster brand loyalty and the consumer’s personal brand?

I. Confente, W. Kucharska Journal of Brand Management – 2021
This study investigates the effect of community identification in building brand loyalty (attitudinal and behavioural) and a personal brand via social networks. The proposed model explained the main community identification antecedents and how identification can lead to enhanced company and consumer performance. This study adopts the theoretical lens of uses and gratifications theory and identifies three motivational drivers of community identification: relationship-oriented motives, self-oriented motives and brand content-oriented motives. The data were analysed with a structural equation modelling method based on a convenience sample collected through a survey. This study extends the body of knowledge about the outcomes from an active social media usage, based on a UGT perspective. It relates community identification and its drivers to loyalty. Besides, it links community identification with personal branding, which is considered as a vital outcome expected by social media users. The findings suggested that self-oriented motives represented a key driver for taking part in an online community. In addition, community identification represents to be an important antecedent to build attitudinal loyalty rather than behavioural loyalty. Consequently, community identification was also found to be a significant driver for building a user’s personal brand.

Relating Information Culture to Information Policies and Management Strategies

D. Bedford, W. Kucharska – 2021
Business and information managers have struggled to meet several challenges in aligning information strategies and business cultures. The consequences of a misalignment or misfit of strategy and culture are well known in business literature, and better guidance on how to better align strategy and culture is needed. This means expanding the puzzle to align business and information cultures, align business and information strategies, and ensuring that there is a good ongoing fit between information cultures and business strategies. It also means that awareness of the information capabilities of an organization needs to be raised along with the different levels and types of information cultures. Relating Information Culture to Information Policies and Management Strategies is a critical scholarly publication that provides a holistic picture of information cultures in order to help business managers understand those cultures and to provide a foundation upon which to ground and grow future information culture research. Highlighting a wide range of topics such as information culture, business strategies, and risk assessment, this book is essential for business managers, organizational executives, information managers, cultural experts, practitioners, academicians, managers, researchers, and students.

Corporate social responsibility practices incomes and outcomes: Stakeholders' pressure, culture, employee commitment, corporate reputation, and brand performance. A Polish–German cross‐country study

This study aims to compare employee perception of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice incomes and outcomes in the construction industry in Poland and Germany. It proposes a model that examines the influence of stakeholder pressure, culture, and CSR practices on company brand performance, reputation, and employee identification. The findings suggest that the structure of relationships varies for project‐managed construction companies in a developed country such as Germany and a rapidly transformed Poland. The structural equation modeling method was adopted to analyze the differences between the structures of relationships using AMOS and Process software. The key finding reveals that stakeholder pressure can lead to consistent CSR‐oriented system in the business environment. This study was first conducted in 2018 and then replicated in 2019 to confirm the results with 1,674 cases. The novelty essence is the comparison of the Polish and German structure of CSR practice incomes and outcomes related to employee perception.

Employee Commitment Matters for CSR Practice, Reputation and Corporate Brand Performance—European Model

So far, there have been no studies that explore how employee brand commitment moderates CSR practice outcomes. Employee brand commitment is often claimed as a focal input and output of the CSR. So, it means that it shapes CSR conditions. Then, it is a moderator. This study aims to verify it. Besides, commitment exists in many forms and can be achieved in many ways. Hence the question, if employees are committed to the brand, then how does it affect the outcomes of social responsibility practices such as corporate reputation or brand performance? This study analyzed a sample of 282 cases from the construction industry in Europe, using SPSS Amos and the PROCESS macro, to reveal the strong alignment of an excellent level of all three: CSR practice, corporate brand reputation, employee brand commitment. Still, it also shows that the high level of CSR practice may leverage corporate brand reputation even though employees are not brand committed. It exposes how meaningful the excellent level of CSR practice is. Moreover, the study also reveals that the lack of employee brand commitment may jeopardize reputation. So, the simplest way to achieve sustainability of brand performance is to keep employee brand commitment and CSR practice at the highest possible level to secure corporate brand reputation, which is a strong mediator between CSR practice and brand performance. The people are the company. So, in light of the study findings, it is clear that the future of corporate brands is in employees’ hands. Thus, companies should focus on improving employee commitment to achieve better corporate socialresponsibility practice outcomes. Moreover, the findings in this study present evidence supporting the importance of internal branding. This is the first study that has explored how employee brand commitment moderates CSR outcomes in a national context.

Learning from Mistakes. A Study on Maturity and Adaptability to Change

W. Kucharska , D. Bedford – 2020
Learning culture matters; company culture must support continuous improvement. Organizational learning is a process of identifying and modifying mistakes that result from interactions between co-workers. The article aims to explore the learning power via errors, using the level of organizational maturity as a moderator. Companies need to know how organizational maturity may moderate the adaptability to change via the acceptance of their mistakes. Based on 380 samples gathered from November to December 2019 among Polish employees working in knowledge-driven organizations across various industries, and analyzing the data using PROCESS software, the authors established that employees working in young organizations adapt to changes better than those who work in mature companies. On the other hand, the acceptance of mistakes by mature organizations significantly improves their adaptability to change. The study shows that mature organizations achieve better change adaptability than young organizations when accepting mistakes. The conclusion is that mature organizations may adapt to changes only if they accept errors (learn from their errors). Concerning young organizations' mistakes, their effect on adaptability to change is not significant.

Love your mistakes!—they help you adapt to change. How do knowledge, collaboration and learning cultures foster organizational intelligence?

Purpose: The study aims to determine how the acceptance of mistakes is related to adaptability to change in a broad organizational context. Therefore it explores how knowledge, collaboration, and learning culture (including “acceptance of mistakes”) might help organizations overcome their resistance to change. Methodology: The study uses two sample groups: students aged 18–24 (330 cases) and employees aged >24 (326 cases) who work in knowledge-driven organizations. Structural equation models were developed, assessed, and compared. Findings: The effect of the “learning climate” on “adaptability to change” mediated by “acceptance of mistakes” has been detected for young students aged 18-24; however this relationship is not significant for business employees aged >24. This result suggests that organizations, unlike universities, do not use mistakes as a tool to support learning that is to lead to change. Limitations: Both samples used in the study come from Poland. The business sample is in the majority represented by small and medium-sized enterprises. Therefore the presented findings may only apply to Poland. Practical implications: Acceptance of mistakes is vital for developing a learning culture. Mistakes help employees adapt to change. Hence, a learning culture that excludes the acceptance of mistakes is somehow artificial and may be unproductive. Paradoxically, the findings reveal that the fact that employee intelligence (adaptability to change) improves via mistakes does not mean that organizational intelligence will also increase. Thus, organizations that do not develop mechanisms of learning from mistakes lose the learning potential of their employees. Scientific implications: The study presents mistakes as a valuable resource that enables the adaptation and development of intelligence. Hence, this study brings to attention a promising research area of “learning from organizational mistakes” in the context of adaptability to change. The study should be replicated for large Polish companies, international companies, and other countries to get a total picture of this phenomenon. Moreover, the acceptance of mistakes would be a significant step to advance learning technologies. Novelty: This study proposes a constant learning culture scale that includes the “acceptance of mistakes” and “learning climate” dimensions. Further, it empirically proves the value of mistakes for adaptability to change.

The power of personal brand authenticity and identification: top celebrity players’ contribution to loyalty toward football

W. Kucharska , I. Confente, F. Brunetti – Journal of Product & Brand Management – 2020
Purpose: In the current era of fake news, illusions, manipulations, and other artificial attributes of virtuality and reality, authenticity is a virtue that people highly appreciate. This study examines the influence of the personal brand authenticity of top football players on loyalty to the football discipline in general, via the mediation of personal brand identification. Design: Based on data collected from a convenience sample of 562 respondents from Poland via an electronic survey and analyzed using the structural equation modeling method this study explored, first, the influence of top football players’ personal brand authenticity on consumers’ identification with these football players, and second, how this identification may lead to enhancing loyalty to the football discipline. Finally, it verified how the loyalty effect (attitudinal and behavioral) varies across different categories of spectators. Originality: This study presents evidence that the personal authenticity of football celebrities to measure loyalty to the football discipline in general, as mediated by personal brand identification. Moreover, this study proves that the loyalty to football driven by the personal brand authenticity of football stars differs between spectators’ categories, and it differs from the loyalty driven by clubs. Findings: Personal brand identification with authentic football stars is a focal factor enabling the creation of loyalty (attitudinal and behavioral) to the whole discipline. Consumers’ perceptions of the authenticity of the personal brands of football players play a role in increasing identification with these personal brands. This identification is essential in achieving loyalty to football as a sports discipline via football celebrities. Implications: Football players perceived as authentic are evaluated more positively, leading to consumer identification with these players, which, in turn, increases consumers’ loyalty to football. Thus, the presence of authentic, skilled players is important for football, but the actual loyalty effect from authenticity can be achieved only by identification. Therefore, football 3 requires exceptional, strong stars who reflect a set of desired personal values. Further research is needed to identify the desired set of values that leads to identification with football stars.

How to achieve sustainability?-Employee's point of view on company's culture and CSR practice

The people are the company. This study aims to examine the structure of relationships between company culture, performance, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and reputation, as seen from the employee's perspective, to determine which company culture factors most influence CSR practice and, as a result, sustain a company's development and improve its performance. To accomplish this goal, we conducted a survey among employees of Polish construction companies regarding CSR practices in their organizations. We applied a structural equation model based on 539 individual cases. For a better understanding of the employee's perception of CSR practice, the model included control variables such as company size and position in the company. Our findings suggest that company reputation is a strong mediator of the CSR practice and company performance relationship, and the cultural dimension of long‐term orientation has the greatest influence on CSR practice. The study advances the knowledge on the subject using a microlevel approach to stakeholders' engagement in CSR by exploring the personalized employee‐centric view of organizational culture, CSR practice, and company reputation to sustain a company's development and improve its performance.

Knowledge Sharing and Organizational Culture Dimensions: Does Job Satisfaction Matter?

The aim of this study is to examine how job satisfaction influences the relationship between company performance, knowledge sharing, and organizational culture, perceived through the prism of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, controlled by company size and staff position. A survey of 910 Polish employees (mainly knowledge workers) with different roles and experiences across different industries was conducted. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The findings prove that job satisfaction is a strong mediator for company culture dimensions and knowledge sharing by the high skilled employee. The influence of masculinity, long-term perspective, and collectivism on knowledge sharing are fully mediated by job satisfaction. Uncertainty avoidance and power distance are partially mediated. The relationship between job satisfaction and company performance is complementarily mediated by knowledge sharing. For optimum company performance, it is important to create a company culture that, first, increases job satisfaction and, second, enhances knowledge sharing. Job satisfaction of knowledge workers in Poland is influenced by low power distance, teamwork, and long-term perspective, and clear rules, strength, and a dominant and assertive male style of management lead to knowledge sharing. The main value of this study is the complete picture it provides of the mediation function of job satisfaction for company culture and knowledge sharing and performance based on a multisector sample.

Online brand communities’ contribution to digital business models

Abstract Purpose – There is limited research examining social drivers and mediators of online brand community identification in the context of business models development. This study aims to identify them behind the social mechanisms and present essential factors which should be applied in business models to foster value co-creation. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from a convenience sample of 712 cases gathered among young European Facebook users via an electronic survey and analyzed using the structural equation modeling method. Findings – Customer–other customers’ identification is a pivotal factor in influencing brand community identification. Practical implications – If companies want to implement online brand communities into business models effectively and co-create brand value, they need deliver brand content useful for customer selfexpression and social interaction to enhance consumer-brand identification and customer–customer social bonds which enable to transform the audience into a community. Focusing on the constant reinforcement of online brand community by supporting customer–customer relationships is critical for voluntary value cocreation. Originality/value – The main contribution of this study to the literature on online brand communities is the presentation and empirical verification of pivotal social mechanisms of online brand community identification considered as a starting point to potential co-creation and capturing value based on the social presence theory.