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Combining participatory action research with sociological intervention to investigate participatory place branding

Laura Ripoll Gonzalez (School of Social Sciences, College of Arts, Law and Education, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia)
Fred Gale (School of Social Sciences, College of Arts, Law and Education, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 20 February 2020

Issue publication date: 20 March 2020

553

Abstract

Purpose

Place branding research has recently focused on developing more inclusive models to better capture the co-creation of place identities. This paper aims to investigate stakeholder communication interactions in place branding processes to inform alternative, participatory, network governance models of stakeholder engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature on stakeholder engagement in place branding processes is sparse. Through a regional case study of the Australian island state of Tasmania, the paper combines participatory action research (PAR) with the method of sociological intervention (SI) to investigate how participants individually and collectively reflect on their practices and patterns of engagement.

Findings

By combining PAR with SI, participants were enabled to gain a greater appreciation of how cooperation and collective self-reflection enhance effective place branding practices. Furthermore, by facilitating participants to compile a list of impediments to collaboration, the research informs efforts to develop more inclusive governance models for place branding. Finally, the PAR/SI method itself served as a practical tool to encourage enhanced stakeholder engagement in applied settings.

Research limitations/implications

The approach is based on a single case study in a particular regional context and the findings require replication in other jurisdictions.

Practical implications

PAR/SI is a practical tool to achieve greater stakeholder engagement and enhance collaborative social action through a process of collective, critical reflection in applied settings.

Originality/value

The paper advances understanding of ways to operationalize participatory place branding through more inclusive, multistakeholder governance arrangements.

Keywords

Citation

Ripoll Gonzalez, L. and Gale, F. (2020), "Combining participatory action research with sociological intervention to investigate participatory place branding", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 199-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/QMR-02-2018-0028

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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