An exploration into the potential value employee branding can bring to the mutual gains HRM framework among DBS students and the strategic implications

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O’Connor, Ryan
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MSc in Management Practice
Dublin Business School
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This dissertation focused on the philosophy of strategic management research. More specifically, Guest (2017) introduced a new HRM framework that is fundamentally different then more dominant and myopic approaches that have a resource based view (RBV) underpinning. This paper critically questions a RBV underpinning through empirical and tautological critiques supported by warning flags that focused on the shifting landscapes of work and the shifting conditions surrounding work. There has been little response to those changes in the literature besides the Mutual Gains HRM framework. This paper suggests that employee branding can give both practical added value to the framework by attracting and retaining millennials, while at the same time it can provide a solution to the theoretical side of the equation by specifically uniting a divide in strategic management research about a sustained competitive advantage. It also seems possible to overcome three challenges to boundary spanning material: language, assumptions, and building bridges. Primary research aided in two conclusions. First the findings found promising evidence that Mutual Gains attracts millennials at DBS to work. Second was that employee well-being was perceived as an antecedent of a positive employment relationship. While the construct validity of the questionnaire was strong, both the reliability and predictive validity of the conclusions were questionable at best. Mutual Gains HRM can bring a multi-level solution looking at attraction, retention and motivation which some scholars have suggested was needed to address challenges when studying strategic questions of sustained competitive advantage.