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Sandra Wolf develops a better understanding of the importance of clearly communicating family influence. She examines the efficacy of brand elements that signal family influence and that help external stakeholders to identify a family firm. An experiment with 543 students in Germany and Switzerland is carried out to empirically test the derived hypothesis. The results highlight two important findings. Firstly, the importance of a family firm tagline as well as the family name as brand elements are able to signal "family firm" and this helps potential employees to immediately categorize the potential employer. Secondly, a positive relationship between the identification of a family firm and applicant attraction was confirmed as to that the relationship is serially mediated by perceived brand authenticity and perceived benevolence.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
To be unique and distinctive is one of the main and most important assets of an organization (Aaker 1991) and thus is a key strategic goal of firm owners and managers around the globe. In today’s dynamic, international, and crowded markets, the development of strategies that enable a company to stand out of this crowd can generate positive perceptions stakeholders have about an organization (Hatch & Schultz 2003) and thus provide competitive advantages (Abratt & Kleyn 2012). Uniqueness and distinction have an immutable connection to a firm’s identity and the identification of this identity by a firm’s stakeholders (Balmer 2008). By adopting this identity-based perspective, the importance of the visibility as well as the identification of a firm’s identity to its stakeholders becomes evident, and defining efficacious identity signals is getting strategically imperative (Balmer & Greyser 2002). It is no surprise that research and practical interest on identity and identification has grown significantly over the last decades (Brown et al. 2006).
Sandra Wolf

Chapter 2. Research Approach

Abstract
In this part of the thesis, I explain how the research questions outlined in chapter 1 are addressed theoretically and methodologically. Firstly, I summarize the theories that are applied in chapters 3 and 4. Secondly, I describe the methodology as well as the statistical techniques of the quantitative empirical studies applied in chapters 3 and 4.
Sandra Wolf

Chapter 3. Exploring the effects of brand elements on signaling and identifying family firm identity

Abstract
One of the main targets of a company is to be distinctive, to be different and to stand out in today’s competitive marketplace. On a general level, the firm’s identity is one of the most important intangible assets and as such one prerequisite for competitive advantage (Aaker 1991). It is supposed that communicating this identity to external stakeholders by building up a unique organizational image that reflects a company’s “most central, enduring and distinctive features” (Whetten & Mackey, 2002, p. 394) increases sales and leads to a better firm performance (Kärreman & Rylander 2008). To capitalize on these positive impacts, an organization has to effectively communicate this identity to external audiences (Balmer & Greyser 2002) and stakeholders have to be able to get to know a desired identity or positioning (Balmer & Greyser 2002) which means that stakeholders have to identify the organization (Balmer 2001).
Sandra Wolf

Chapter 4. Family firm identity as a signal to influence perceived trustworthiness in initial recruitment processes

Abstract
In today’s “war for talent”, competition for skilled staff is high (Wilden et al. 2010) and attracting job seekers is a critical management task (Collins & Stevens 2002; Wilden et al. 2010; Baum & Kabst 2014). Within the recruitment process potential employees’ perceptions and beliefs about the organization are key success factors (Chapman et al. 2005). Anecdotal evidence shows that having a “good company tag” (Spitzmüller & Huntington 2002, p. 27) is the key to attracting the best talents and studies have confirmed that organizations with strong brand identities are preferred to those with weak or negative brand identities (Cable & Turban 2001). In the very beginning phase of recruitment, one premise for the job seeker to build up beliefs about a potential employer is to process signals that the organization sends (Connelly et al. 2011) and associate them with preexisting known categories (Fischer & Reuber 2007).
Sandra Wolf

Chapter 5. Conclusion

Abstract
In this last part of this thesis the key contents of each chapter are summarized. Subsequently, the theoretical and practical implications of this thesis are presented – overall as well as chapter by chapter. Finally, limitations are acknowledged and avenues for future research are discussed.
Sandra Wolf

Backmatter

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