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Department of Cognitive Science

Seminar Abstract

Body art as branded labour: At the intersection of employee selected and relationship marketing.

Speaker : Associate Professor Andrew Timming, Management and Organisations (UWA Business School), The University of Western Australia.
Date : 19th of June 2017, 1:00PM until 2:00PM
Location : M3.14, South Psychology Block, The University of Western Australia.

    Using mixed methods, this article examines the role of body art as a form of branded labour in customer-facing jobs. It brings together employee selection and relationship marketing into one framework, and uniquely conceptualises body art as an asset in the labour market, rather than the traditional liability. In Study 1, 192 respondents with management experience participated in an online laboratory experiment in which they were asked to rate photographs of tattooed and non-tattooed job applicants in two hypothetical organisations: a fine dining restaurant and a popular nightclub. In Study 2, 20 in-depth, qualitative interviews were carried out with managers, tattooed front-line employees and potential consumers in two real-world service sector firms. The results show how body art can be strategically used to positively convey the brand of organisations, primarily those targeting a younger, ‘edgier’ demographic of customer.

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