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Identity, image and stakeholder dialogue

Helena Kantanen (Department of Business, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 27 January 2012




This paper aims to focus on how corporate and regional identity and image build a framework for stakeholder dialogue in higher education institutions.


The paper draws on literature related to corporate identity and image. The approach is qualitative and the data consist of strategic documents and 23 focused interviews conducted with university and stakeholder representatives in three Finnish cities.


The paper outlines how corporate and regional identities are perceived by university managers and universities' local stakeholders. It claims that the identity and image of the university and the region concerned are among the central determinants of stakeholder interaction.

Practical implications

The paper shows that identity and image are central phenomena to manage communication in higher education institutions. It emphasises that when merging institutions, valuable assets such as the history with local stakeholders may be at risk.


There is information on how university identity and image are formed through research merits and education, but very little knowledge on how they are formed through the so‐called third strand, regional service. The paper sheds light on this question.



Kantanen, H. (2012), "Identity, image and stakeholder dialogue", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 56-72.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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