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Turning a mundane ceremony into a meaningful organizational ritual: some suggestions for the redesign of ribbon-cutting ceremonies

Igor Gurkov (Strategic and International Management, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 17 June 2021




This paper aims to explore the phenomenon of ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new overseas subsidiaries and demonstrates the possibility of modifying such ceremonies to place greater emphasis on intra-organizational communications.


This is a careful study of 200 videos on 73 ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Russia between 2012 and 2018.


Under the current prevalent design, ribbon-cutting ceremonies mostly entail inter-organizational communication, i.e. communication between foreign investors and representatives of the authorities of the host country. Meanwhile, in addition to the standard ribbon-cutting ceremonies, it is observed that several videos on intra-organizational communication, i.e. pseudoformal meetings between the team from the corporate headquarters and employees of a newly built factory. During such meetings, top corporate executives express the importance of the factory vis-à-vis the future of the whole corporation, state their expectations for the further development of the factory’s production facilities, postulate the desired working atmosphere in the factory and appeal for the commitment and assistance of the employees in safeguarding the future of the investment.


The findings provide a basis for a broader discussion on the role of ribbon-cutting ceremonies as staged large-scale events organized by firms to articulate, highlight, disseminate, rationalize, as well as mobilize internal and external support for their strategy.



Gurkov, I. (2021), "Turning a mundane ceremony into a meaningful organizational ritual: some suggestions for the redesign of ribbon-cutting ceremonies", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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