Removing the duplicates across the topic and title search and studying the abstracts, 96 references were selected for full-text analysis.
To ensure that any unindexed references are included, additional Boolean searches on the keywords “personal brand*” were carried out on EBSCO Business Source Complete restricting it by peer-reviewed publications only and on Google Scholar, returning 13 and 19 additional original references respectively; top 250 hits were manually reviewed in each search.
Personal branding has become an important concept in management literature in recent years.
Yet, with more than 100 scholarly papers published on the concept to date, it has developed into a fragmented area of research with a diversity of definitions and conceptual boundaries.
Finally, a future research agenda is laid out by positioning personal branding as one of the essential human activities for maintaining sustainable work and employment.
This field of knowledge being fragmented and scarce, we conducted a systematic literature review, applying wide criteria to include all the extant academic research on personal branding.Sitting at the junction of marketing, sociology, communication, psychology, organizational behavior, and some would claim even accounting (Vitberg, 2010), personal branding has emerged as a means of attaining career success in the context of more temporary employment systems and project based work structures.Many reasons have prompted the emergence and penetration of the concept—personal branding—into the management discourse.With this literature review we aim to fill this gap.We analyze 100 papers on personal branding published in journals representing various disciplines, with the purpose to, firstly, synthesize all definitions of personal branding stemming from different disciplines and fields of studies, and to propose a new definition that integrates multidisciplinary knowledge about the concept.After analyzing the full texts of the articles, 44 references were excluded for the following reasons: (a) for lacking academic rigor albeit published in peer-reviewed journals (N = 16), (b) for lacking relevance to the topic of the study (N = 14), and (c) for being in a language that the researcher did not know (N = 10), and for the inability to find full text articles (N = 4).A manual search in the reference lists of the selected articled resulted in 16 additional references added to the list. As a result, this current review is based on the analysis of full text of 100 academic publications. Each article was subsequently analyzed in depth with the results coded under the corresponding category titles, main ones being definition, theory, model, methods, population, inputs, processes, outputs, study design, primary social media, future research recommendations.The proposed model outlines the trends conducive to personal branding, as well as its drivers, processes, and outcomes.Finally, we discuss ethical implications of personal branding for both scholarly work and practice.Most of the articles in the topic search were related to the marketing studies of product branding, and, therefore, were excluded, as they were not relevant to the research topic of personal branding.Similarly, we did not consider non-academic papers and patents.