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Conceptualizing and researching personal branding effects on the employability

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This paper aims to propose a theoretical basis for personal branding phenomenon, and to present an explanation of how personal branding could be capitalized into employability. A total of 54 in-depth interviews were conducted among Tunisians university graduates. Data have been analyzed using a content analysis and a logistic regression. It shows that personal branding is a multidimensional construct involving six dimensions: cultural capital, social capital, verbal self-presentation, mediated self-presentation, authenticity, and appearance. These elements add value to the graduate and shape their employment outcomes.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Conceptualizing and researching personal branding effects
on the employability
Manel Khedher
1
Revised: 28 May 2017 / Published online: 14 May 2018
Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018
Abstract This paper aims to propose a theoretical basis for
personal branding phenomenon, and to present an expla-
nation of how personal branding could be capitalized into
employability. A total of 54 in-depth interviews were
conducted among Tunisians university graduates. Data
have been analyzed using a content analysis and a logistic
regression. It shows that personal branding is a multidi-
mensional construct involving six dimensions: cultural
capital, social capital, verbal self-presentation, mediated
self-presentation, authenticity, and appearance. These ele-
ments add value to the graduate and shape their employ-
ment outcomes.
Keywords Personal branding Cultural capital Social
capital Appearance Authenticity Verbal self-
presentation Mediated self-presentation Employability
Introduction
During the recent decades, personal branding has become a
popular phenomenon as a response to the paradigm shift in
the employment environment. The neoliberal model of
business and society has accelerated values such as indi-
vidualization, self-promotion, and self-realization. There-
fore, everyone seeks to become an entrepreneur of oneself
in order to maximize returns in terms of success (Du Gay
et al. 1996).
Today’s job market is much more competitive and
challenging than before; thus, it requires substantial effort
in order to pursue a suitable position successfully. Graduate
unemployment is a major issue in Tunisia. The unem-
ployment rate for an individual with higher education has
risen from 15 to 31% over the five past years. In addition to
the Tunisian economy failure to produce a sufficient
number of jobs for more educated graduates, there has been
a mismatch between labor market entrant expectations and
firm’s needs.
Personal brands are perceived to have innate and pow-
erful value, and those who brand themselves will be
compensated for their efforts (Peters 1997; Shepherd 2005;
Vallas and Cummins 2015). There are strong indications
that university graduates benefit through developing and
managing their personal branding. Yet despite the rele-
vance of the personal branding phenomenon, little rigorous
research has been conducted within this field. Conse-
quently, this research aims to investigate the influence of
personal branding on the school-to-work transition of
university graduates.
In this study, we begin with a discussion on the focal
concepts. Then, we present a theoretical foundation for
personal branding drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of
practice and Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical theory. Next,
we present a model illustrating the relationship between
personal branding and graduate’s employability. Then, we
develop a set of research propositions. Finally, we present
results and discussion.
&Manel Khedher
manelkhedher@yahoo.fr
1
School of Business, E.S.C.Tunis, Campus Universitaire,
2010 Manouba, Tunisia
J Brand Manag (2019) 26:99–109
https://doi.org/10.1057/s41262-018-0117-1
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... Pomimo że budowanie marki osobistej jest koncepcją, która w ciągu ostatnich lat bardzo zyskuje na znaczeniu, to wciąż nie sformułowano jednej, ogólnie przyjętej definicji tego pojęcia, co potwierdza przeprowadzony systematyczny przegląd literatury. W jego wyniku stwierdzono, że budowanie marki osobistej jest definiowane jako: 4. wizerunek w oczach innych osób (Ilies, 2018;Gujarathi i Kulkarni, 2018;Khedher, 2019 ...
... soft skills) (Ibrahim, Boerhannoeddin i Bakare, 2017;Caggiano i in., 2020). W analizowanych materiałach wyrażano przekonanie, że zarówno budowanie marki osobistej, jak i zatrudnialność to pojęcia, które powinno się analizować z uwzględnieniem indywidualnej perspektywy (Butum i Nicolescu, 2019) i jako wielowymiarowe konstrukty (Khedher, 2019). W publikacjach dodatkowo podkreślano, że budować markę osobistą należy również po osiągnięciu pożądanego zatrudnienia (m.in. ...
... Do wspomnianej teorii sygnalizacji pośrednio odwoływał się Khedher (2019). ...
Chapter
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Jednym ze sposobów osiągania pożądanej zatrudnialności jest budowanie marki osobistej (Ilies, 2018; Gujarathi i Kulkarni, 2018; Peter i Gomez, 2019; Tazo i in., 2020). Celem artykułu jest prezentacja wyników przeglądu najnowszych koncepcji definiowania pojęć „budowanie marki osobistej” i „zatrudnialność” oraz udzielenie odpowiedzi na pytanie, czy w dotychczasowych badaniach zakładano współzależność między tymi zmiennymi, a jeśli tak, to w jakim kontekście i z jakimi rezultatami. Dla realizacji celu pozyskano 434 pełnotekstowe i recenzowane publikacje z pełnym dostępem, które opublikowano w języku angielskim w latach 2015-2020 w bazie publikacji ProQuest. Po wstępnej selekcji, dokonanej zgodnie z przyjętymi założeniami, do dalszej eksploracji zakwalifikowano 46 publikacji, które wykorzystano do analizy definicji pojęć „budowanie marki osobistej” i „zatrudnialność”. Spośród nich w 10 wskazano na istnienie współzależności między budowaniem marki osobistej a zatrudnialnością. W wyniku przeprowadzenia systematycznego przeglądu literatury stwierdzono, że w najnowszych publikacjach zarówno budowanie marki osobistej, jak i zatrudnialność, najczęściej były rozumiane jako indywidualne cechy. Oprócz tego budowanie marki osobistej identyfikowano jako pojęcie marketingowe, proces czy wizerunek w oczach innych osób. Z kolei zatrudnialność była kategoryzowana jako indywidualna zatrudnialność, indywidualna zatrudnialność w miejscu pracy i na rynku pracy oraz indywidualna zatrudnialność w miejscu pracy. Przeprowadzenie systematycznego przeglądu literatury pozwoliło stwierdzić, że istnieje współzależność między budowaniem marki osobistej a zatrudnialnością, ale niewiele jest publikacji, w których odniesiono się do tej zależności, i badań, w których ją przetestowano. Artykuł stanowi pole do dalszej eksploracji publikacji i badań.
... The existing academic literature focuses on self (James, 1890), extended self (Belk, 1988), the extended digital self (Belk, 2014a), expanded self (Aron & Aron, 1986;Connell & Schau, 2013), extended mind (Clark & Chalmers, 1998) and dialogical self (Ahuvia, 2005;Bahl & Milne, 2010) along with a host of other conceptual treatments of self in the digital world. Furthermore, past research focuses on the formation of self, involving consumer desire, wants, and needs in a digital era (Denegri-Knott & Molesworth, 2013;Vicdan & Ulusoy, 2012) and concepts of personal branding (Khedher, 2019;Labrecque, Markos, & Milne, 2011). Eminent scholars have contributed toward exploring multiple aspects of the nature of self in the digital and non-digital worlds (Aron & Aron, 1986;Bahl & Milne, 2010;Belk, 1988Belk, , 2013Belk, , 2014aBelk, , 2014bClark & Chalmers, 1998;Cushman, 1995;Schau & Gilly, 2003;Turkle, 1999Turkle, , 2005Zhao, 2005). ...
... This is akin to the concept of the enterprising self (Vallas & Christin, 2017). Khedher (2019) compares personal branding to modes of self-presentation and argues for the superiority of digital branding of the self in seeking employment. Labrecque et al., 2011 document the challenges in selecting/ suppressing content and audiences across platforms to achieve the desired self-presentation to specific audiences. ...
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The digital era has led to the extension of self into virtual space, resulting in changes to consumption patterns. The existing academic landscape in this area focuses on Western perspectives, in the context of early-stage digital interventions. However, the dynamic digital world demands a constant exploration to understand the corresponding influences on consumer behavior across varied cultural contexts. This research focuses on unraveling newer dimensions of the digital self from non-Western perspectives. We adopt an interpretive lens to understand the evolving nature of self through a grounded theory approach. The study establishes the presence of multiple independent narrative selves, co-created with people, and technology. Each narrative addresses different segments of personal audiences, enabling new modes of self-expression to overcome the challenges of digital expressions. Additionally, we highlight the exclusion of the digital presence of family in the formation of the narrative self. From a theoretical perspective, we extend and contrast the existing conceptualizations on self, such as dialogical selves, self-extension and expansion, and the unified core self. Further, the practical implications emphasize the need for narrative analytic approaches to understanding consumers and avenues for brands to decode narratives, develop strategies to gain consumer attention, and become part of consumers' narrative selves.
... Morocco, Lebanon, American Samoa and Saudi Arabia published in 2018, focusing on mismatches between HEIs' preparation and labor market requirements, and ways to improve employability (Manzoor et al., 2018). Egypt, Peru, Iran, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Yemen published in 2019 on HEIs' preparation, labor market requirements and other factors affecting employability such as personal branding and supply-side factors (Khedher, 2019). ...
... Morocco, Lebanon, American Samoa and Saudi Arabia joined the employability literature in 2018, while Egypt, Peru, Iran, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Yemen joined in 2019. These new countries focused on gaps/mismatches between HEIs' preparation and labor market requirements and ways to improve employability (Manzoor et al., 2018) or other factors affecting employability such as personal branding and supply-side factors (Khedher, 2019). These illustrate the huge challenges facing HEIs in recent times. ...
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Purpose Employability has long been a concern of scholars because of its complicated nature and changes in the requirements in labor markets to meet the new requirements of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and globalization. However, there has not yet been much systematic investigation of the existing literature tracing the trends, changes and developments in employability research. This paper aims to fill this void by analyzing data obtained from the Scopus dataset from 1972 to 2019. Design/methodology/approach A total of 1,703 Scopus-indexed articles were filtered from 7,885 documents. The results reflect a rapidly emerging literature on employability, given the worldwide interest in this topic. Using descriptive statistics and bibliometric analyses, the review identified trends in employability research, whose impact has been sustained for several decades. Findings With science mapping, the conceptual structure of scientific disciplines was visualized, highlighting three main schools of thought including employers’ requirements and higher education institutions’ preparation; the antecedents of employability; and the role of work-integrated learning in enhancing employability. Originality/value The paper calls for more integrative research focusing on personal agency with the development of career paths inside organizations as well as for a more focus on a multilevel perspective exploring both individuals' and organizations’ perceptions.
... While there has been a significant increase in scientific attention to personal branding in the last ten years, it is still a fragmented phenomenon that deserves academic attention (Scheidt et al., 2018). Although there are definitions of personal branding based on empirical research (Khedher, 2019) or more conceptual work (Bendisch et al., 2013), there is still no single, comprehensive definition of this concept that could be successfully applied in both literature and business practice. This article attempts to classify the definition of the concept of personal branding appearing in recent literature. ...
... It involves capturing and promoting the strengths and uniqueness of your target audience. Khedher, 2019 Conscious and intentional effort to create and influence the public perception of an individual. ...
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Personal branding in the last ten years has been gaining significantly in popularity - especially in the business environment (Gehl, 2011; Wee & Brooks, 2010). Meanwhile, the literature still recognizes the need for empirical research on personal branding that examines how various professions experience personal branding. Managers are increasingly aware that the activities they perform as part of personal branding affect how the organization they represent is perceived. The aim of this article is to identify the process of building personal brands by managers. To achieve this goal, a literature review and qualitative research were carried out in the form of individual in-depth interviews. The choice of the research method is justified by the subject of the analysis. The study covered a group of nine people with at least two years of experience in a managerial position and employed in service companies located in Greater Poland. As a result of the conducted research, it was found that personal branding is perceived as a multi-stage process in which social media is credited with increasing use. In addition, organizations only support building personal brands by managers and executives. The article is a field for further exploration of publications and research.
... (2013) and Barron's (2007) work in terms of a brand's signifiers being drawn primarily from the personality of the owner as an individual. Hence, the autobiography dimension helps inform prior research on personal branding (Khedher, 2019;Barron, 2007), person brands (Schroeder 2005; Fournier and Eckhardt 2019) and even influencer marketing (Brown and Hayes, 2008) by highlighting the habitus of the owner's personal narrative in brand visual aesthetics as helping construct the imagined world (Dicks, 2016). ...
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... KiĢisel markalaĢma literatüründe ağırlıklı olarak sanatçı, tasarımcı, yönetici, doktor gibi geleneksel meslekleri icra eden örneklem gruplarının araĢtırıldığı görülmektedir (Ayaz, 2017;Karaduman, 2013;Khedher, 2019;Kucharska & Mikolajczak, 2018;Labrecque, Markos, & Milne, 2011;Rangarajan, Gelb, & Vandaveer, 2017). Fakat, bu tür geleneksel mesleklerin kiĢisel markalaĢma için kullandıkları sosyal medya platformlarında sosyal medyayı kendi baĢına bir mesleki alan olarak görüp, bu alan içinde bireysel çabalarla içerik üreterek gelir elde eden profesyonelleri kiĢisel markalaĢma bağlamında ele alan çalıĢmalar kısıtlı kalmıĢtır. ...
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The role of digital self-presentation in the process of personal branding was analyzed. A literature review was conducted on personal branding and self-presentation within the scope of the study including amateur internet users who share the content and create interaction with their followers on social media. As for research methodology, face-to-face in-depth interviews with 8 micro-celebrities, focus group interviews with 29 participants and the documentary analysis on 16 Youtube videos were performed by carrying out data triangulation. The comparative results of this research show that presentation, promise, digital interaction, professionalization, anxiety, social role, and social media play a significant role in the process of personal branding for micro-celebrities. Besides, the expectations that micro-celebrities have regarding being viewed, liked, and earning money cause to exhibiting fictional performance as part of ideal self, while emotional tie between micro-celebrities and their followers reveals para-social relations. Additionally, setting, camera techniques and visual elements that are used in the content of videos make a positive contribution to the process of personal branding.
... The second phase is to develop the brand's positioning by developing communication of one's brand identity through managing behavior, communication and use of symbols. The last phase is to evaluate a brand's image in order to fulfill personal and professional objectives (Khedher 2014, Khedher 2019. Digital media facilitate innovation in self-presentation, but also generation of false identities. ...
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