Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Employee Perception and Implications for Internal Brand Management

  • Aneta Szymanska, Ph.D. WSH University of Business in Wroclaw
  • Denis Aldighieri IBM Global Services Delivery Centre, Wroclaw
Keywords: diversity and inclusion, diversity management, internal brand management, employer branding


The study explores the issues connected with diversity and inclusion in the workplace and their application in internal branding. The authors draw attention to the depth of the problematics and identify the gaps in research results concerning the meaning of diversity management as a method of creating corporate image of the organization, both externally and internally.

The purpose of the research is to investigate employees’ perceptions on diversity in the workplace. It will develop insight into and knowledge of the current state of diversity in the workplace in Poland. Secondly, the results of the research are meant to help to accelerate the process of adapting and changing current management practices to meet the demands of a diversifying workforce. Besides, the authors investigate how diversity management can become an effective tool for internal branding as a crucial success factor.

In the statistical study, the Mann–Whitney U test was used to assess differences between women and men. In the case of an independent variable related to the position held in the organization, the Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA analysis was used for comparison. In order to assess the relationship between nominal features, the Fisher’s exact test – the chi-squared test was applied with the Yates’s continuity correction for a 2x2 contingency table. For these tables, the contingency coefficient C of correlation was calculated. In the case of the scaled variables, to evaluate the relationship between them and the answers to the questions asked, Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients were calculated.

Keywords: diversity and inclusion, diversity management, internal brand management, employer branding.


Download data is not yet available.


Aldighieri, D. 2017. Diversity Management: The Gap Between the Current Reality and Desired State in the Corporate World of Wroclaw. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Business in Wroclaw, Poland.

Ambler, T., Barrow, S. .1996. The Employer Brand. Journal of Brand Management, 4: 185--206.
American Marketing Association, [online] https://www.ama.org/resources/Pages/Dictionary.aspx?dLetter=B#branding (accessed 10.10.2017).

Andreassen, T.W., Lanseng, E.J. 2010. Service Differentiation a Self-image Congruency Perspective on Brand Building in the Labor Market. Journal of Service Management. 21: 212--236.

Avery, D.R., McKay, P.F. 2010. Doing diversity right: an empirically based approach to effective diversity management [in] Hodgkinson, G., Ford, J.K. (eds). International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. London: Wiley, 227--252.

Backhaus, K., Tikoo, S. 2004. Conceptualizing and Researching Employer Branding. Career Development International, 9: 501--517.

Barrow, S., Mosley, R. 2006. The Employer Brand: Bringing the Best of Brand Management to People at Work, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.: 57, 59.?

Bell, M. P. 2012. Diversity in organizations (2nd ed.). Mason, OH: South- Western Cengage Learning.

Campbell, M. C. 2002. Building brand equity. International Journal of Medical Marketing, 2(3): 208--218.

Caplan, J. 2004. Building a winning employer brand, China Staff, Hong Kong, Dec 2003/Jan 2004, 10(2): 1--5, [online] http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5478/is_2003 12/ai_n21342378/ (accessed 12.09.2017).

Choi, S., Rainey, H. G. 2010. Managing diversity in US federal agencies: Effects of diversity and diversity management on employee perceptions of organizational performance. Public Administration Review: 70, 109-121.

Conference Board. 2001. Engaging employees through your brand. The Conference Board, New York, NY.

Cox, T. H., Jr. 1993. Cultural diversity in organizations: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

de Chernatony, L., Segal-Horn, S. 2003. The Criteria for Successful Services Brands. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 37, Nos. 7-8: 1095--1118. ?

Ellickson, R. C. 2001. The evolution of social norms: A perspective from the legal academy[in] Hechter, M., Opp, K.D. (eds.). Social norms. New York: Russell Sage Foundation: 35--75.

Ely, R. J., Thomas, D. A. 2001. Cultural diversity at work: The effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(2): 229--273.

Engelmeier, S. 2012. Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage”, Boulder, CO: InclusionINC Media.

Ewing, M.T., Pitt, L.F., de Bussy, N.M., Berthon, P. 2002. Employment Branding in the Knowledge Economy. International Journal of Advertising, 21: 3--22.

Foster, C., Punjaisri, K., Cheng, R. 2010. Exploring the relationship between corporate, internal and employer branding. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 19 (6): 401--409. Business Source Complete, [online] EBSCOhost (accessed 01.10.2017).

GAO - United States Government Accountability Office. 2005. Diversity Management: Expert-Identified Leading Practices and Agency Examples, Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate.

Goom, S., MacLaverty, N., McQuillan, P., Hugh Oddie, H. 2008. Internal Branding. A Human Resources Perspective. Canadian Marketing Association, [online] http://www.brand-matters.com/downloads/InternalBrandingHR08.pdf (accessed: 02.10.2017).

Hudson-Ward, A. 2014. Eyeing the New Diversity. An emerging paradigm for recruitment and retention. americanlibrariesmagazine.org, July/August 2014: 32--35.

Ivancevich, J.M., Gilbert, J.A. 2000. Diversity management: time for a new approach. Public Personnel Management 29(1): 75--92.

Jacobs, R. (2003). Turn employees into brand ambassadors. ABA Bank Marketing, Vol. 35, No. 3: 22--26.

Jayne, M.E.A., Dipboye, R.L. 2004. Leveraging diversity to improve business performance: research findings and recommendations for organizations. Human Resource Management 43(4): 409--424.

Jonsen, K., Maznevski, M., Schneider, S.C. 2011. Diversity and its not so diverse literature: An international perspective. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 11(1), 35–-62 [online] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261259232_JonsenK_Maznevski_M_Schneider_SC_2011_Diversity_and_its_not_so_diverse_literature_An_international_perspective_International_Journal_of_Cross_Cultural_Management_111_35-62 (accessed: 26.10.2017).

Jonsen, K., Özbilgin, M. 2014. Models of Global Diversity Management [in] Ferdman, B.M., Deane, B. R. Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass: 364--365.

Joshi, A., Roh, H. 2008. Considering context in work team diversity research: a meta-analytic review. Dorothy Harlow Distinguished Paper Award, Academy of Management Meeting, Anaheim, CA.

Judson, K. M., Aurand, T. W., Gorchels, L., Gordon, G. L. 2009. Building a University Brand from Within: University Administrators' Perspectives of Internal Branding. Services Marketing Quarterly: 54--68.

Kellough J. E., Naff K. C. 2004. Responding to a wake-up call: An examination of federal agency diversity management programs. Administration & society: 36, 62-90.

Khan B. M. 2009. Internal Branding: Aligning Human Capital Strategy with Brand Strategy, The Icfai University Journal of Brand Management, Vol. VI, No. 2, 2009: 22, 25--26.

King, C., Grace, D. 2008. Internal branding: Exploring the employee's perspective. Journal of Brand Management, May 2008, Volume 15, Issue 5: 358--372.

Knox, S., Freeman, C. .2006. Measuring and Managing Employer Brand Image in the Service Industry. Journal of Marketing Management: 695--716.

Kossek, E.E., Lobel, S.A., Brown, J. 2006. Human resource strategies to manage work force diversity: examining ‘the business case’ [in] Prasad, P., Pringle, J.K, (eds). Handbook of Workplace Diversity. London: SAGE, 53--74.

Kumar, P. 2012. Managing workplace diversity, issues and challenges, SAGE Open, April 2012: 12.

Love L. F., Singh P. 2011. Workplace Branding: Leveraging Human Resources Management Practices for Competitive Advantage Through ‘‘Best Employer’’ Surveys, J Bus Psychol 26:175--181.

Mandhanya Y., Shah M. 2010. Employer Branding – a Tool for Talent Management, Global Management Review, Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2010: 44--45.

Mannix, E. Neale, M.A. 2005. What differences make a difference? Psychological Science in the Public Interest 6(2): 31--55.

Manternach, L. 2016. Engagement promises happy employees, customers. Sept. 12 -18, 2016 Corridor Business Journal: 18.

Matz-Costa, Ch., Carapinha, R., Pitt-Catsouphes, M. 2012. Putting Age in Context: Relational Age and Inclusion at the Workplace. Indian Journal of Gerontology, 2012, Vol. 26, No.1: 50--74.

Meyer, J. P., Stanley, D. J., Herscovitch, L., Topolnytsky, L. 2002. Effective, Continuance, and Normative Commitment to the Organization: A Meta-analysis of Antecedents, Correlates, and Consequences. Journal of Vocational Behavior, Vol. 61: 20---52.

Miles, J. S., Mangold, W. 2005. Positioning southwest airlines through employee branding. Business Horizons, 48, 535--545.

Miller, F. A. 1998. Strategic culture change: The door to achieving high performance and inclusion. Public Personnel Management: 151--160.

Mor-Barak, M. E., Cherin, D. 1998. A tool to expand organizational understanding of workforce diversity. Administration in Social Work: 47--64.

Papasolomou, I., Vrontis, D. 2006. Using Internal Marketing to Ignite the Corporate Brand: The Case of the UK Retail Bank Industry. Journal of Brand Management, Vol. 14, Nos. 1-2: 177--195. ?

Pitts, D. W. 2006. Modeling the impact of diversity management. Review of Public Personnel Administration: 245--268.

Punjaisri, K.; Wilson, A. and Evanschitzky, H. 2008. Exploring the Influences of Internal Branding on Employees' Brand Promise Delivery: Implications for Strengthening Customer-Brand Relationships. Journal of Relationship Marketing, 7 (4): 407--424, [online] EBSCOhost (accessed 01.10.2017).

Roberson, Q. M. 2006. Disentangling the meanings of diversity and inclusion in organizations. Group & Organization Management: 212--236.

Rosethorn, H. 2010. Members of the Bernard Hodes Group and Contributors. The Employer Brand. Keeping Faith with the Deal. Retrieved February 2010, [online] www.ashgatepublishing.com/ pdf/.../Employer_Brand_Rosethorn_Ch1.pdf. (accessed 15.09.2017).

Sabharwal, M. 2014. Is Diversity Management Sufficient? Organisational Inclusion to Further Performance. Public Personnel Management 2014, Vol. 43(2): 197--217 [online] http://www.academia.edu/6151258/Is_Diversity_Management_Sufficient_Organizational_Inclusion_to_Further_Performance (accessed 20.09.2017).

Sartain, L., Schumann, M. 2006. Brand from the inside. San Francisco: Wiley.

Sia, S. K., Bhardwaj, G. 2009. Employees’ Perception of Diversity Climate: Role of Psychological Contract. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, July 2009, Vol. 35, No. 2: 305--312, [online] http://medind.nic.in/jak/t09/i2/jakt09i2p305.pdf (accessed 15.09.2017).

Srivastava, P., Bhatnagar, J. 2010. Employer Brand for Talent Acquisition: An Exploration towards Its Measurement. Vision-The Journal of Business Perspective, 14: 25--34.

Talent Intelligence. 2014. Inclusion and the Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace, [online] http://www.talentintelligence.com/blog/bid/377611/inclusion-and-the-benefits-of-diversity-in-the-workplace (accessed 7.09.2017).

Thomas, R. R., Jr. et al. 2002. Harvard Business Review on managing diversity. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Turnbull, H. 2014. The Illusion of Inclusion. January/February 2014: 84 [online] www.diversityjournal.com, (accessed: 30.09.2017).

Vallaster, C. 2004. Internal Brand Building in Multicultural Organizations: A Roadmap Towards Action Research. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2: 100--113. ?

Vallaster, C., de Chernatony, L. 2003. Internalization of Services Brands: The Role of Leadership During the Internal Brand Building Process. Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 21: 181--203. ?

Vêlez, E. L. 2012. Today’s workforce is inclusive. Human Resources, Caribbean Business, Thursday, May 3, 2012: 34--35.

Wise, L.R., Tschirhart, M. 2000. Examining empirical evidence on diversity effects: how useful is diversity research for public-sector managers? Public Administration Review 60(5): 386--394.