Lecture 1 Revealing the Corporation: New Beginnings
Objectives • Introduction to the area of study Key Questions and Key Concepts The effect of Environmental Forces Explaining the area’s historiography Why the need for a new gestalt of the Objectives corporation “ Model of the Moment”: Exhibit 1 “Key Questions and Constructs” see page 4.
Capturing the imagination of scholars and managers…….. • The concepts of corporate/organizational identity, communication, image, reputation and branding have, since the 1950s, captured the imagination of scholars and managers. • The effect: new ways of conceptualising organizations, new management functions and responsibilities, a new family of consultancy, and the emergence of new writing on corporations.
New Concepts: Problems and Possibilities • These new concepts have provided new perspectives in comprehending the various facets of corporate meaning. • These perspectives are derived from empirical research, intellectual prowess, principles derived from practise and are also a result of skills of invention. • However, various fault-lines have emerged and this has led to confusion. • Such confusion stems from the divide between practitioners and scholars, between management disciplines, and divisions caused by geography, language and culture.
The Magnetism of Monomania • The effect of monomania has exacerbated the confusion. As such, one concept is held in particular affection at any one time. Recently, considerable attention has been given to corporate branding, corporate reputation and corporate communication. Formerly, attention was given to corporate identity, corporate personality and corporate image.
Key Questions and Concepts: i • Six crucially important questions need to be addressed in order to reveal the corporation: • What are the corporation’s distinctive attributes? • What are the organizational members’ affinities? • To whom, and what, do we communicate? • What is our corporate covenant? • How are we perceived over time? • How are we perceived now?
Key Questions and Concepts : ii • The six questions cited earlier may be seen to mirror the following concepts: • Corporate identity (not to be confused with the graphic design paradigm of identity) • Organizational identity • Corporate Communications • Corporate BrandingCorporate Reputation • Corporate Image
……………….not in a vacuum • A consideration of the key questions and concepts needs to be placed in the context of the business environment (PEST = political, economic, ethical, social, and technological influences). • Balmer and Gray (1999) have argued that environmental forces represent the driving force behind the recent upsurge of interest in the broad area.
Environmental Forces: i • Balmer and Gray (1999) concluded that ten undercurrents have accentuated the need for corporate identity, reputation, branding and communication etc to be strategically managed. “Some firms have been affected by many of them whereas others by only a few. It would be difficult, however, to identify any companies that have not been touched significantly by at least one of them.” Balmer and Gray (1999)
Environmental Forces: ii • Acceleration of product-life cycles • Deregulation • Privatisation programs, • Increased competition in the public and not-for-profit sectors • Increased competition in the service sector • Globalisation and the establishment of free trade areas • Shortage of high-calibre personnel • Public expectations for corporate social responsiveness • Increased salience to organizations of external stakeholders
Environmental Forces: iii • Consider: • The strength of corporate brands such as Sony in fluid markets. • The rise of new corporations caused by various privatisations programs (the successes and vicissitudes of British Airways since privatisation is one high profile examples)
Historiography of Revealing the Corporation: i STAGE 1 - 1950s to 1970s CORPORATE IMAGE FOCUS STAGE 2 - 1970s & Early 1980s CORPORATE IDENTITY CORPORATE PERSONALITY and CORPORATE IMAGE FOCI STAGE 5 - THE FUTURE? ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW, INTER-DISCIPLINARY AREA OF MANAGEMENT, MARSHALLING ALL THE CONCEPTS. TO BE KNOWN AS “IDENTITY STUDIES” AND/OR“CORPORATE MARKETING?” STAGE 4 - c.2000 onwards SIMILAR TO STAGE 3 PLUS CORPORATE BRANDING FOCI STAGE 3 - Late 1980s to c.2000 ORGANISATIONAL IDENTITY CORPORATE IDENTITY CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS and CORPORATE REPUTATION FOCI Adapted from Balmer (1998)
Historiography of Revealing the Corporation: ii • Individual/Groups of concepts have been held in affection during different times since the 1950s (see Exhibit 2). This has resulted in five distinct stages in the area’s historiography: • STAGE 1 – 1950s to 1970s: Corporate Image focus • STAGE 2 - 1970s and early 1980s: Corporate Identity, Corporate Personality and Corporate Image foci
Historiography of Revealing the Corporation: iii • STAGE 3 – Late 1980s to c. 2000: Organizational Identity, Corporate Identity, Corporate Communications and Corporate Reputation foci. • STAGE 4 – c. 2000 onwards: Similar to Stage 3 plus Corporate Branding foci. • STAGE 5 – the Future?…………
Historiography of Revealing the Corporation: iv • Stage 5 – the Future?Establishment of a new, interdisciplinary area of management, marshalling all the aforementioned concepts. Area to be known as “Identity Studies?” and/or “Corporate Level Marketing ?”
A New Gestalt of the Corporation: i • Balmer and Greyser (2003) argue that the corporate-level constructs examined in Revealing the Corporation should be viewed not as a disparate collection of corporate insights but rather as part of a whole – parts of a new gestalt of the corporation.
A New Gestalt of the Corporation: ii • This new gestalt is informed my disciplinary and “national” insights. This perspective informs Section One and the Epilogue of Revealing the Corporation. • Balmer and Greyser (2003) conclude that this new gestalt of the corporation may be considered analogous to a new branch of marketing, that of corporate-level marketing.
“Model of the Moment”: Exhibit 1 KEY QUESTIONS KEY CONSTRUCTS What are the corporation’s distinctive attributes? E E E E Corporate Identity N N N N V V V V To whomand what dowe communicate? How are we perceived now? I I I I Corporate Image Corporate Communications R R R R O O O O How are we perceivedover time? What is our corporate covenant? N N N N Corporate Reputation Corporate Branding M M M M What are organizational members affinities? E E E E N N N N Organizational Identity T T T T Adapted from Balmer 1999 Adapted from Balmer 1999 
“Model of the Moment”: ii • Consider: Exhibit 1 “Key Questions and Key Constructs” • Apply to an entity with which you are familiar/a member.
Summary: i • Concepts provide a new means of revealing the corporation/a new way of understanding corporate meaning. • Recent environmental trends have accentuated the need to consider the concepts of identity, reputation, corporate branding, corporate communications etc
Summary: ii • The various corporate-level concepts have captured the imagination of scholars and practioners; have led to new management functions and responsibilities and to a new family of consultancy. • The concepts, in their totality, can be seen to provide a critical breakthrough in comprehending entities moreover…………………………………. • They provide the elements of what Balmer and Greyser (2003) argue is a new gestalt of the corporation.
We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants,so that we can see more than they,and things at a greater distance,not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part,or any physical distinction,but because we are carried high andraised up by their giant size. Bernard of Chartres d. c 1130