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Exploring the link between human resource practices and turnover in multi-brand companies: The role of brand units’ images


  • Slavich, Barbara
  • Cappetta, Rossella
  • Giangreco, Antonio


Using exploratory qualitative research undertaken in a multi-brand fashion company, this article investigates the role that brand units’ images play in the link between human resources management (HRM) practices and employee internal and external turnover. Our results suggest that the existence of imbalanced and differently attractive brand units’ images might weaken or remove the effectiveness of corporate HRM practices in keeping internal and external turnover rates low. This because employees may be interested in transferring to the most appealing brand(s) or, if not possible to do so, leaving the company. This article contributes to the debate regarding the use of HRM practices in multi-brand companies, especially in industries where both the brand and the product have a highly-symbolic content. Based on our conclusions, we recommend that brand units with less prestigious images compensate for their lower attractiveness with specific brand unit HRM practices to attract and retain their employees. Theoretical and policy implications of the findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Slavich, Barbara & Cappetta, Rossella & Giangreco, Antonio, 2014. "Exploring the link between human resource practices and turnover in multi-brand companies: The role of brand units’ images," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 177-189.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:32:y:2014:i:2:p:177-189
    DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2013.06.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Smith, Pernille & da Cunha, Joao Vieira & Giangreco, Antonio & Vasilaki, Athina & Carugati, Andrea, 2013. "The threat of dis-identification for HR practices: An ethnographic study of a merger," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 308-321.
    2. Carl F Fey & Sergey Morgulis-Yakushev & Hyeon Jeong Park & Ingmar Björkman, 2009. "Opening the black box of the relationship between HRM practices and firm performance: A comparison of MNE subsidiaries in the USA, Finland, and Russia," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 40(4), pages 690-712, May.
    3. Reiche, B. Sebastian, 2008. "The configuration of employee retention practices in multinational corporations' foreign subsidiaries," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 676-687, December.
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    5. Katou, Anastasia A. & Budhwar, Pawan S., 2010. "Causal relationship between HRM policies and organisational performance: Evidence from the Greek manufacturing sector," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 25-39, February.
    6. Henk W. Volberda & Arie Y. Lewin, 2003. "Co-evolutionary Dynamics Within and Between Firms: From Evolution to Co-evolution," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(8), pages 2111-2136, December.
    7. Iles, Paul & Chuai, Xin & Preece, David, 2010. "Talent Management and HRM in Multinational companies in Beijing: Definitions, differences and drivers," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 179-189, April.
    8. Williamson, Oliver E, 1981. "The Modern Corporation: Origins, Evolution, Attributes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 1537-1568, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chandra Sekhar & Manoj Patwardhan & Vishal Vyas, 2016. "A Study of HR Flexibility and Firm Performance: A Perspective from IT Industry," Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, Springer;Global Institute of Flexible Systems Management, vol. 17(1), pages 57-75, March.


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