Social Identity and Employer Attractiveness of the Tobacco Industry

Niklas Johansson

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Organizations today face an increasing competition in attracting and recruiting talents. To find, attract and retain talented people is a source for competitive advantage and are by some even argued to be crucial for an organization’s survival. It is shown that employers with less favored employer attractiveness attract fewer applicants, and therefore also limit their choices to select qualified applicants. For organizations with a less favored employer attractiveness, to know which type of individual that still is attracted to the organization may help managers to target their recruitment efforts more efficiently, and thus decrease overall recruitment costs. This paper builds on Social Identity Theory and Social Categorization Theory, collectively named social identity approach (Hornsey, 2008), to argue that there is a specific type of individual that is more likely to apply to firms with less favored employer attractiveness, compared to employers with more favorable attractiveness. More specifically, the current paper argues that individuals that put less emphasis on the reflection their social groups have on themselves, according to the social identity approach to have a low social identity saliency, are more likely to apply to an industry with a less favored employer attractiveness. The research question is: RQ: Which type of individual, according to the social identity approach, is more likely to apply to an industry with a less favored employer attractiveness? The research question is answered through a quantitative study where data is collected through a survey. The data is analyzed through a multiple regression analysis. Findings does not support the notion that individuals with a low social identity saliency, that is, individuals that place less emphasis on their social groups’ identity reflection, are more likely to apply to industries with a less favored employer attractiveness. The findings does however show that men are more attracted to an industry with a less favored employer attractiveness, in this case the tobacco industry. Findings also show that if an individual knows someone at a tobacco company, that individual is more likely to apply to the tobacco industry herself.

EducationsMSc in Strategy, Organization and Leadership, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2013
Number of pages99