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Rickard Andersson

Universitetslektor

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Employees as ambassadors: embracing new role expectations and coping with identity-tensions

Författare

  • Rickard Andersson

Summary, in English

Purpose
To provide an employee perspective on ambassadorship in the context of corporate communication, the purpose of this paper is to explore how employees relate to and experience ambassadorship.

Design/methodology/approach
The study has a qualitative approach, and the empirical material consists of semi-structured interviews with, and focus groups of, employees of seven organizations in both the public and private sectors. The paper draws on a contemporary understanding of identity where identity is perceived as an ongoing reflexive process in which employees negotiate and construct of their selves through relating to role expectations and interacting with others. Therefore, ambassadorship is understood as a social-identity, or persona, that is referenced by employees in their identity work.

Findings
The findings indicate that employees embrace this persona as they imagine that external stakeholders, colleagues and managers expect it of them. However, the ambassador persona also gives rise to identity-tensions both during work and off work.

Research limitations/implications
The paper contributes a novel way to understand ambassadorship as well as highlighting some of the more problematic aspects of it and furthering the understanding of the concept.

Practical implications
The findings highlight that ambassadorship can have problematic consequences that needs to be addressed. They suggest that the employee perspective should be taken into consideration in internal communication education and training.

Originality/value
The paper contributes a novel employee perspective on ambassadorship.

Avdelning/ar

  • Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

Publiceringsår

2019-10-07

Språk

Engelska

Sidor

702-716

Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie

Corporate Communications

Volym

24

Issue

4

Dokumenttyp

Artikel i tidskrift

Förlag

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Ämne

  • Communication Studies

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Övrigt

  • ISSN: 1356-3289