Employees who represent the firm to outsiders are a possible advantage of an organisation in the war for talents. Therefore, Employee Advocacy has been identified as important concept. The thesis aims to understand what motivates employees to be advocates from an organisational perspective. As important factors existing research has identified identification, loyalty, satisfaction and commitment. The thesis aims to explore these antecedents with their link to organisational factors, such as organisational identity and organisational culture.
An ethnographic approach was chosen that included 33 semi-structured interviews, 48 narratives and an auto-ethnographic account of the experience at one subsidiary of a large German organisation founded fifteen years before the study took place. The interviews were analysed with grounded theory. The narratives went through a thematic analysis based on dimensions that were developed after the literature research: Actor, Connection, Relationship, and Value.
The findings showed that an identity of entrepreneurial thinking manifested in customer orientation and pragmatism helps loyalty, an identity of caring that manifests in cohesion and comfort helps satisfaction, and an identity of success by unruliness that manifests in risk-taking and freedom helps identification. If all these are present advocacy is the highest. Furthermore, the findings showed that the meta-themes: Enfant Terrible, Avant-Garde, Extra Mile, Family Cocoon and
Biedermeier, generated with the thematic analysis, describe various phases of one grand story: The new conceptualization of the Organisational Life Story was developed. Within the story, the organisational identity that manifests in the organisational culture changes from one phase to the other and thus changes the Employee Advocacy. Seeing Employee Advocacy as dynamic concept dependent on organisational development is the new and unique contribution of this research project. This means that for Employee Advocacy past, present and future
of the organisation are equally important.