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Employees as Corporate Ambassadors: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Perceived Benefits and Challenges from Three Perspectives


Brockhaus, Jana; Dicke, Laura; Hauck, Patricia; Volk, Sophia Charlotte (2020). Employees as Corporate Ambassadors: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Perceived Benefits and Challenges from Three Perspectives. In: Tkalac Verčič, Ana; Tench, Ralph; Einwiller, Sabine. Joy: Using Strategic Communication to Improve Well-being and Organizational Success. Bingley UK: Emerald Publishing, 115-134.

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to shed light on a growing phenomenon in communication practice: employees speaking voluntarily for, about or on behalf of their organization, hereafter labelled as corporate ambassadors. The goal of this qualitative study is to analyze the role of corporate ambassadors within an organization and explore the perceived benefits and risks from three perspectives: the communication department, other departments such as marketing or human resources, and corporate ambassadors themselves. The research is based on an interdisciplinary literature review and 25 qualitative in-depth interviews with employees in one large, internationally operating German organization. By combining the theoretical and empirical insights, a conceptual framework that depicts the benefits (e.g., joy, increased trust, positive impact on reputation) and risks (e.g., work stress, lack of integration, loss of quality) of integrating corporate ambassadors into the overall communication of the organization was developed. In addition, this chapter suggests two typologies that help to distinguish between different roles of communication professionals and of corporate ambassadors. The contribution of this study is to lay a groundwork for further discussions about corporate ambassadors in the field of corporate communications. The chapter outlines directions for future research and implications for practice on how the framework can be applied in organizations.

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to shed light on a growing phenomenon in communication practice: employees speaking voluntarily for, about or on behalf of their organization, hereafter labelled as corporate ambassadors. The goal of this qualitative study is to analyze the role of corporate ambassadors within an organization and explore the perceived benefits and risks from three perspectives: the communication department, other departments such as marketing or human resources, and corporate ambassadors themselves. The research is based on an interdisciplinary literature review and 25 qualitative in-depth interviews with employees in one large, internationally operating German organization. By combining the theoretical and empirical insights, a conceptual framework that depicts the benefits (e.g., joy, increased trust, positive impact on reputation) and risks (e.g., work stress, lack of integration, loss of quality) of integrating corporate ambassadors into the overall communication of the organization was developed. In addition, this chapter suggests two typologies that help to distinguish between different roles of communication professionals and of corporate ambassadors. The contribution of this study is to lay a groundwork for further discussions about corporate ambassadors in the field of corporate communications. The chapter outlines directions for future research and implications for practice on how the framework can be applied in organizations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:26 November 2020
Deposited On:24 Jan 2023 10:47
Last Modified:29 Jan 2023 09:27
Publisher:Emerald Publishing
Number:5
ISBN:978-1-80043-241-3
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1108/s2398-391420200000005009
Other Identification Number:eISBN: 978-1-80043-240-6