Dimensions and Components of Brand-Based Human Resources Management in Pharmaceutical Companies: A Case Study

authors:

avatar Akbar Hasanpoor 1 , avatar Saeed Jafarniya 1 , avatar Yousef Vakili 1 , avatar Leila Taghavi 2 , *

Department of Human Resources Management, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran
Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

how to cite: Hasanpoor A, Jafarniya S, Vakili Y, Taghavi L. Dimensions and Components of Brand-Based Human Resources Management in Pharmaceutical Companies: A Case Study. Ann Mil Health Sci Res. 2022;20(2):e127940. doi: 10.5812/amh-127940.

Abstract

Background:

Currently, in organizations, customer satisfaction and focus on successful sales are not enough to improve the organization’s assets and maintain a competitive position in the market. Therefore, companies should adopt the necessary measures and strategies to attract and preserve effective human resources. Without the power of efficient human resources, an organization is unable to create transformation, development, and excellence and achieve a strategic model and the set goal. For this purpose, there should be management that leads the organization and creates an efficient structure for the production of human resources. Brand human resources management is a differentiation in the core of human capital management strategy.

Objectives:

The main function of brand-based human resources management is to attract potential workforce outside an organization and maintain talent within an organization. Human resources management can play an important role in the success of an organization’s branding; however, it has received less attention.

Methods:

This study aimed to explore the perception of the concept of brand-based human resources and to present its dimensions and components; in terms of purpose, data collection, and data certainty, this study was applied-developmental, descriptive, and exploratory, respectively. The statistical population included written sources or texts related to brand-based human resources management that were available. Moreover, the sampling method in this study was purposeful.

Results:

The main findings of this study included identifying the dimensions and components of brand-based human resources management in 17 basic themes, 8 organizing themes (components), and 3 comprehensive themes (dimensions).

Conclusions:

Based on the findings of this study, it is possible to evaluate companies’ brand-oriented level of human resources management. Accordingly, action is taken to plan to improve weak aspects.

1. Background

One of the topics that are less considered in the field of branding in scientific circles is the discussion of branding based on employees, which is the explanation of the relationship between the internal and external environments of companies. Moreover, employees’ behaviors will have a great impact on the customers’ perception of the brand. Employees will help increase customers in the organization and profitability (1). In the new branding approach, employees are considered internal customers and the first customers of the organization. Therefore, the organization should focus its efforts on motivating employees to provide better services to foreign customers. Therefore, employees’ understanding of the expectations of managers and customers, the nature of the organization’s brand, and the organization’s philosophy seem to be necessary (2).

Recent research and experience of large companies, such as Google and Microsoft, more than ever showed that the targeted development of human resources based on efficiency models would be one of the effective ways to increase the reputation of the organization’s brand (3). Therefore, human resources management can play an important role in the success of an organization’s branding; however, it is less addressed. In internal branding, it is believed that the first customers of an organization are its employees. In this regard, one of the newest topics in human resources management is brand-based human resources management, in which all human resource subsystems are used to create and promote the company brand, and this causes a positive interaction of employees with customers and stakeholders, which ultimately improves the company’s performance (4). Brand-based human resources management seeks to create a kind of commitment that human resources have to the organization and is focused on developing human resources and creating a positive attitude toward the organization. In this case, employees consider the organization a favorable environment and are encouraged to identify the goals of the organization and strive to achieve those goals.

Most studies on human resource-based branding have focused on the effects of human resource-based branding on other variables, such as employee commitment (4), performance improvement (5), citizenship behavior (6), brand psychological ownership, and brand citizenship behavior (7), customer satisfaction and customer loyalty (8), improvement of service quality (9), participation (10), brand learning (10), competitive advantage and employee development (11), and brand image (12). In addition, none of the studies attempted to examine the brand-based human resources management comprehensively that has been addressed in the present study. In today’s companies, due to increasing the level of competitiveness and specialized activities of companies, paying attention to attracting and retaining the appropriate human resources will be of great importance. Furthermore, the improvement of the competitive environment of the organization depends on having efficient and appropriate employees. In this regard, the purpose of this study is to answer the main question:

What are the dimensions and components of brand-based human resources management in the pharmaceutical industry?

2. Objectives

This section reviews studies directly or indirectly related to the research topic, which are described in Table 1.

Table 1. Summary of the Results of Reviewed Studies
Research TitlePurpose of the ResearchResearch Results
Factors Affecting Employee Brand Citizenship Behavior (2)This study aimed to identify the factors that affect the brand citizenship behavior of employees.The relationship between internal brand management and employee commitment to the brand was investigated. There was no employee commitment to the brand and brand citizenship behavior.
A Multilevel Study of the Relationship between Brand-Based Human Resources Management, Brand Psychological Ownership, Brand Citizenship Behaviors, and Customer Satisfaction in Sepah Bank, Tehran, Iran (7)This study aimed to investigate the correlation between brand-based human resources management, brand psychological ownership, and brand citizenship behaviors.Brand-based human resources management has a significant relationship with brand psychological ownership and brand citizenship behavior. Brand citizenship behavior is directly related to customer satisfaction and indirectly to brand loyalty.
Investigating and Determining the Impact of Brand-Based Human Resources Management on Brand Psychological Ownership and Brand Citizenship Behavior (6)This study aimed to investigate the effect of brand-based human resources management on brand psychological ownership and brand citizenship behavior.Positive interactions between employees and customers can contribute to brand value and organizational performance. To this end, cultivating the resources of employee behavior in accordance with brand value has been the main focus of the internal brand structure.
Identifying and Prioritizing the Factors Affecting Brand Citizenship Behavior (5)This study aimed to determine the importance of factors affecting brand citizenship behavior.Variables, such as brand commitment, brand equity, brand-based human resources management, and organizational sociability, directly affect brand citizenship behavior. Two variables, namely relationalism and employee acceptance, affect brand citizenship behavior by influencing brand commitment.
Brand-Based Human Resources Development with a Centralized Approach (4)This study aimed to determine the role of focus in brand-based human resources management.Paying attention to the four dimensions of training, performance, participation, and development, and compensation of employees’ services will cause employees to have more commitment to the organization’s brand and a favorable brand position in employees’ attitudes and move toward brand-centric development.
Human Resources Branding as a Competitive Adornment (13)This study aimed to determine the competitive advantage of the organization through human resources branding.Brand-based human resources management seeks to create a kind of commitment that human resources have to the organization and is focused on developing human resources and creating a positive attitude toward the organization.
Does Brand-Based Human Resources Play an Important Role in Quality Products and Services? (1)This study aimed to determine the role of human resources branding in improving service quality.Human resources can manage the three components of the company’s human resources brand by expanding marketing skills. The human resources brand can be used as a strategic tool for management in various aspects, such as improving employees’ attitudes and performance.
Role of Human Resources Management in Internal Branding (9)This study aimed to provide human resources management solutions for internal branding.There is a strong personal attitude toward the brand among the organization’s employees, which is due to the strong relationship between the participation of human resources in the development of the internal brand and the combination of the brand in the work activities.

A review of the experimental literature showed that no comprehensive model covers the dimensions and components of brand-based human resources management; however, the study of these backgrounds helped identify the dimensions and components of brand-based human resources management. This study aimed to identify the dimensions and components of brand-based human resources management.

3. Methods

The present study was a descriptive review via the categorized libraries in terms of research purpose, development, and application and in terms of demonstrating how the information was collected. Data collection tools were valid databases and research-related articles collected with a systematic review approach. In this regard, it can be said that, in this approach, the dimensions and components of brand-based human resources management were determined using the review method. Finally, to analyze the data, the basic theme analysis approach was used, through which the organizing themes were extracted as components. Finally, the comprehensive themes were extracted as dimensions. The agreement percentage index (i.e., Cohen kappa coefficient) was used to measure the reliability of this study. Therefore, after the completion of coding, about 20% of the codes were selected and coded again by the researchers. The similarity of the frequency of the codes was calculated using the aforementioned index, which was set above 70% for all components. Additionally, to evaluate the validity of the findings, the opinions of human resources experts were used, which were finalized by examining the themes identified by them and applying the required changes.

At the end of the initial coding, the common codes were put together to decide how to combine different codes to form the indices. At this stage, basic themes and codes were obtained through the help of professors and experts (three professors and three PhD students). Several examinations were performed to finally reach the final conclusion. The results of this analysis included identifying 17 basic themes (indicators), 8 organizing themes (components), and 3 comprehensive themes (dimensions). Table 2 shows the network of themes related to the basic, organizing, and comprehensive themes using the basic codes.

Table 2. Basic, Organizing, and Comprehensive Themes
Basic Codes with ReferencesAbundanceBasic ThemesOrganizing ThemesComprehensive Themes
Paying attention to scientific principles in business design (8)2Brand-compatible job designBrand-based job analysisProviding brand-based human resources
Promoting employee satisfaction and a sense of usefulness in employees (7)2
Attracting individuals based on brand (4)2Brand-based empowermentAttracting brand human resources
Job-to-job matching (14)2
Putting the brand message in employment indicators (15)1
Providing feedback on how applicants react to the brand message to the human resources management unit (12)2
Using appropriate personality and behavioral tests in selecting individuals in line with the brand (5, 6, 16)3Brand-based recruitment tests
Knowledge and experience of individuals (17)1Brand-based job interviews
Paying attention to individual talents (8, 14, 18)3
Paying attention to the compatibility of applicants’ personal values and brand values in attracting (6)1
Introducing employees to the brand of the organization (10)2Employee socializationEmployee socializationDevelopment and growth of employees in line with the brand
Employee adaptation to organizational culture (19)2
Changing employees’ attitudes toward branding (19)2
Aligning employees’ attitudes (20)2
Talent retention (6)2Brand-driven career managementBrand-driven career management
Retaining brand-based employees (7)1
Brand-oriented career pursuit (21)2
Training of trainers promoting branding (5)2Nurturing a brand coachBrand-based development and training
Developing brand-based training courses (5)1Holding brand-based training courses
Developing and promoting employees’ knowledge in the direction of branding (7)1
Developing and training individuals in line with the brand (8)1
Improving employees’ knowledge of their role in the brand (22)1Brand knowledge sharing
Informing employees about brand value (20, 23)2
Sharing brand information with employees (12)1
Institutionalizing the brand of the organization in senior managers (9)1Deepening brand value
Brand-based employee performance appraisal (10)1Evaluating employee brand compatible behaviorPerformance management of brand-oriented employees
Better presentation of brand value by recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of individuals (10)1
Evaluating behavior in accordance with brand standards (24)1
Evaluating behaviors beyond brand standards (22)1
Paying attention to employees’ psychological security (20)1Paying attention to employee welfareCompensation for brand-based employee servicesBrand-based human resources maintenance
Providing appropriate welfare services (10)1
Payment based on brand compatible behavior (6, 8)2Compensation for brand-compatible services
Providing formal and informal rewards for appropriate brand behaviors (5, 6)2
Paying attention to external justice in paying salaries to employees (5)1Compensation for fair services
Competitive payment to employees (6)1
Increasing employee participation (5, 6)2Participatory managementEmployee relationship management
Employee participation in job design (6, 10)2
Developing an atmosphere of respect among employees (1, 10)1
Paying attention to brand commitment among employees (1, 8)2
Paying attention to brand commitment between managers (10)1Promoting brand commitment between employees and managers
Developing organizational trust between employees (11)1
Developing organizational trust between employees (11)1Creating brand attachment among employees
Promoting the sense of ownership among employees regarding the brand (8)1
Paying attention to employee integration with the brand (21)1

4. Results

This study sought to identify the dimensions and components of brand-based human resources management. For this purpose, the method of content analysis was used. After reviewing the literature and extracting the themes from various texts, the dimensions and components of brand-based human resources management were identified. The results of the studies are as follows:

(1) Based on the findings, eight organizational themes were obtained, which are the same components of brand-based human resources management, including brand-based job analysis, brand-based human resources recruitment, employee socialization, brand-oriented career management, brand-based development and training, brand-based employee performance management, brand-based employee service compensation, and employee relationship management.

(2) Based on the findings, the comprehensive themes that are the same dimensions of brand-based human resources management include providing brand-based human resources, developing and growing employees in line with the brand, and maintaining brand-based human resources.

(3) Finally, based on the findings, basic topics include brand-compatible job design, brand-based recruitment, brand-based recruitment tests, brand-based recruitment interviews, employee socialization, brand-centric career management, brand coach training, holding brand-based training courses, brand knowledge sharing, deepening brand value in senior managers, evaluating employee brand-compatible behaviors, paying attention to employee welfare, compensating for brand-compatible services, compensating for fair services, participatory management, promoting brand commitment among employees and managers, and creating brand attachment among employees.

Finally, due to the novelty of brand-based human resources management, it is suggested that this issue be studied in various fields and industries using other research methods.

References

  • 1.

    Kim D, Sturman MC. HR branding: How human resources can learn from product and service branding to improve attraction, selection, and retention: Cornell hospitality report. Cornell University Library; 2012. 11 p.

  • 2.

    Karimi MR, Eshaghi MS, Ahmadi MM. [Factors affecting the brand citizenship behavior of employees]. J Manag Stud. 2016;25(8):119-42. Persian. doi: 10.22054/JMSD.2016.4032.

  • 3.

    Schlager T, O'Cass A, Bodderas M, Maas P, Luc Cachelin J. The influence of the employer brand on employee attitudes relevant for service branding: an empirical investigation. J Ser Market. 2011;25(7):497-508. doi: 10.1108/08876041111173624.

  • 4.

    Al-Shuaibi ASI, Shamsudin FM, Abd Aziz N. Developing brand ambassadors: the role of brand-centred human resource management. Int Rev Manag Market. 2016;6(7):155-61.

  • 5.

    Ghasemzadeh S. [Identify and prioritize the factors affecting brand citizenship behavior]. Tehran, Iran: Azad University; 2012. Persian.

  • 6.

    Khaniyan SH. [Investigating and determining the impact of brand-based human resource management on brand psychological ownership and brand citizenship behavior]. Tehran, Iran: Azad University; 2012. Persian.

  • 7.

    Tadrisi S. [A multi-level study of the relationship between brand-based human resource management, brand psychological ownership, brand citizenship behaviors and customer satisfaction in Sepah Bank, Tehran]. Tehran, Iran: Tehran University; 2012. Persian.

  • 8.

    Sepahvand S. [Investigating how brand-based human resource management affects customer satisfaction with the company's brand focusing on black box processes]. Lorestan, Iran: University of Management and Economics; 2013. Persian.

  • 9.

    Aurand TW, Gorchels L, Bishop TR. Human resource management's role in internal branding: an opportunity for cross‐functional brand message synergy. J Prod Brand Manag. 2005;14(3):163-9. doi: 10.1108/10610420510601030.

  • 10.

    Figurska I, Matuska E. Employer branding as a human resources management strategy. Hum Resourc Manag Ergonom. 2013;7(2):35-51.

  • 11.

    Moroko L, Uncles MD. Characteristics of successful employer brands. J Brand Manag. 2008;16(3):160-75. doi: 10.1057/bm.2008.4.

  • 12.

    Kenny G. Five questions to identify key stakeholders. Harvard Bus Rev. 2014.

  • 13.

    App S, Merk J, Büttgen M. Employer Branding: Sustainable HRM as a Competitive Advantage in the Market for High-Quality Employees. Manag Rev. 2012;23(3):262-78. doi: 10.5771/0935-9915-2012-3-262.

  • 14.

    Love LF, Singh P. Workplace Branding: Leveraging Human Resources Management Practices for Competitive Advantage Through “Best Employer” Surveys. J Bus Psychol. 2011;26(2):175-81. doi: 10.1007/s10869-011-9226-5.

  • 15.

    Pokorny M. Getting to Know Your Employees and What Motivates Them. Employ Relation Today. 2013;39(4):45-52. doi: 10.1002/ert.21389.

  • 16.

    Barrow S, Mosley R. The employer brand: Bringing the best of brand management to people at work. John Wiley & Sons; 2005.

  • 17.

    Kucherov D, Garavan TN, Zavyalova E. HRD practices and talent management in the companies with the employer brand. Eu J Train Develop. 2012;36(1):86-104. doi: 10.1108/03090591211192647.

  • 18.

    Park HJ, Zhou P. Is There a Correlation for Companies with a Strong Employment Brand Between Employee Engagement Levels and Bottom Line Results? Cornell Univ. 2013.

  • 19.

    Rosethorn H. Using Employer Brand To Attract Talent. The Employer Brand. Gower Housden; 2010.

  • 20.

    Barman A. Branding of Human Resource Technologies: How far Indian corporations could do it?. Silchar, India: Assam University; 2010.

  • 21.

    Edwards MR. An integrative review of employer branding and OB theory. Pers Rev. 2009;39(1):5-23. doi: 10.1108/00483481011012809.

  • 22.

    Ambler T, Barrow S. The employer brand. J Brand Manag. 1996;4(3):185-206. doi: 10.1057/bm.1996.42.

  • 23.

    Punjaisri K, Wilson A, Evanschitzky H. Exploring the Influences of Internal Branding on Employees' Brand Promise Delivery: Implications for Strengthening Customer–Brand Relationships. J Relat Market. 2008;7(4):407-24. doi: 10.1080/15332660802508430.

  • 24.

    Biswas M. Employer Branding: A Human Resource Strategy. J Human Resourc Manag Labor Stud. 2013;2(2):201-14.

Copyright © 2022, Annals of Military and Health Sciences Research. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.