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This paper aims to demonstrate the need to explore the image formation process to develop a more holistic definition of corporate image. Diminishing trust in managers has created increasingly negative perceptions toward corporations. Stakeholders are constantly evaluating and scrutinizing corporations to determine their trustworthiness and authenticity. To develop their perceptions toward these corporations, stakeholders rely on the key role of corporate image. In the present study, the complex relationships between corporate image, corporate reputation, corporate communication and corporate personality are investigated. These concepts form a corporation’s image formation process.
Radley Yelday (RY), the communications agency collaborating in this research, facilitated 15 interviews with their employees. Using a semi-structured interviewing method, discussions were guided toward the topic of corporate image among the respondents.
Findings reveal the importance of corporate image under seven different dimensions: visual expression, positive feelings, environments expression, online appearance, staff/employees appearance, attitude and behavior and external communications (offline, online and effectiveness). Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed with suggestions for future researches.
The authors develop a conceptual model that illustrates the corporate image formation process. The model includes seven dimensions – both with tangible and intangible aspects – forming corporate communication and corporate personality. These, in turn, translate into the corporate image. With time and experiences, corporate image creates a more consistent reputation, which consists of five different levels: awareness, familiarity, favorability, trust and advocacy. As demonstrated in this research, the seven key dimensions influencing this process are: visual expression, positive feelings, environment, online appearance, staff/employees appearance, attitude and behavior and external communications.
The study of markets encompasses a number of disciplines – including anthropology, economics, history, and sociology – and a larger number of theoretical frameworks (see…
The study of markets encompasses a number of disciplines – including anthropology, economics, history, and sociology – and a larger number of theoretical frameworks (see Plattner, 1989; Reddy, 1984; Smelser & Swedberg, 1994). Despite this disciplinary and theoretical diversity, scholarship on markets tends toward either realist or constructionist accounts (Dobbin, 1994; Dowd & Dobbin, forthcoming).1 Realist accounts treat markets as extant arenas that mostly (or should) conform to a singular ideal-type. Realists thus take the existence of markets as given and examine factors that supposedly shape all markets in a similar fashion. When explaining market outcomes, they tout such factors as competition, demand, and technology; moreover, they can treat the impact of these factors as little influenced by context. Constructionist accounts treat markets as emergent arenas that result in a remarkable variety of types. They problematize the existence of markets and examine how contextual factors contribute to this variety. When explaining market outcomes, some show that social relations and/or cultural assumptions found in a particular setting can qualify the impact of competition (Uzzi, 1997), demand (Peiss, 1998), and technology (Fischer, 1992). Constructionists thus stress the contingent, rather than universal, processes that shape markets.