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

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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.

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.

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.

The paper contributes a novel employee perspective on ambassadorship.


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Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Kommunikationsvetenskap
Sidor (från-till)702-716
Antal sidor14
TidskriftCorporate Communications
StatusPublished - 2019 okt 7
Peer review utfördJa