Branding McJobs: The Art of Symbolic Compensation

Claus Noppeney, Nada Endrissat, Dan Kärreman

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Traditionally, employer branding has been considered relevant for knowledge intensive firms that compete in a ‘war for talent’. However, the continuous rise in service sector jobs and the negative image of these so-called McJobs has motivated a trend in rebranding service work. Building on critical oriented branding literature, our contribution to this stream of research is twofold: We provide an empirical account of employer branding of a grocery chain, which has repeatedly been voted among the ‘100 best companies to work for’. Second, we outline the role of symbolic compensation that employees receive from the organization. Symbolic compensation refers to the grocery store’s ability to divert attention from the McJob reality by providing symbolic value that is central to employees’ identity construction. We discuss our findings and outline their implications for a critical understanding of employer branding.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014: The Power of Words - Philadelphia, United States
    Duration: 1 Aug 20145 Aug 2014
    Conference number: 74


    ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Internet address

    Cite this