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The centrality of ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the corporate marketing perspective serves as a point of differentiation for the field within the broader marketing discipline. Currently, there is a lack of clarity around the ‘transparency’ construct, which is an integral if ill-defined dimension of ethics and CSR in marketing. A shared understanding of the transparency construct is thus a significant gap within corporate marketing theory. Addressing that gap is the purpose of this paper.
The approach in this paper is conceptual. In developing a detailed definition of transparency, the paper draws on core papers in corporate marketing theory as well as organisational transparency.
Rawlins’ (2009) multi-layered definition of the transparency construct is identified as appropriate for adoption in the corporate marketing context. Each of the six layers of his definition is analysed to understand what is implied and what the application of the construct means for corporate marketing practice. The implications are that the application of transparency in corporate marketing requires that a positive and proactive approach to information-sharing is adopted; the default position is to share information with stakeholders; both good and bad news are shared; the criteria – accuracy, timeliness, balance and unequivocality – are applied to all information prior to releases; an organisation commits to empowering stakeholders; and there is recognition of an obligation to account to stakeholders.
The paper is conceptual in nature and does not apply the definition of the transparency construct to empirical data. It is likely that empirical research will lead to further refinements and amendments. The paper should therefore be considered as a starting point for this empirical work.
The paper provides a detailed definition of the transparency construct, which includes a discussion of what the application of the transparency construct implies and what it means for the practice of corporate marketing. The definition and its practical application are summarised in table form as a guide for both researchers and practitioners of corporate marketing. The table may serve as a guide for evaluating current organisational performance and for embedding transparency in corporate marketing practice.
This study appears to be the first paper to address the gap in the corporate marketing literature in relation to the transparency construct. This conceptual paper therefore provides a foundation for further empirical research into the application of the transparency construct in corporate marketing.
This paper applies Eisenberg’s theory of strategic ambiguity to stakeholder relationship management during a period of significant change within a public sector…
This paper applies Eisenberg’s theory of strategic ambiguity to stakeholder relationship management during a period of significant change within a public sector organisation. Public sector organisations generally have a wider range of stakeholders than private sector organisations and must discharge their statutory responsibilities within the highly charged environment of the political arena. This paper will contend that communication professionals may deploy strategic ambiguity to manage the competing demands of public sector stakeholders and also to stimulate a diversity of actions and creative responses in the stakeholder community. The paper draws upon an extensive case study of the major science‐funding agency in New Zealand – the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) – to illustrate the potential value of and identify some limits to the use of strategic ambiguity.
This article offers the “brand web” model as a conceptual framework for the creation and ongoing analysis of corporate brands and brand relationships. The framework is particularly relevant for new economy ventures that result from alliances. In deploying the brand web model, marketers are asked to consider: the power relationship between the corporate brands; their corporate identities and brand values; the goals of each brand; and the relative strategies pursued to achieve these goals. These questions are posed within the context of the semiotic model of corporate identity.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between corporate identity, corporate marketing and the pursuit of corporate objectives, particularly those…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between corporate identity, corporate marketing and the pursuit of corporate objectives, particularly those objectives that require action at a societal level.
The research is based on a literature review and an holistic, multiple method case study, drawing on e‐mail newsletters, interviews, web sites, media articles and organizational documents.
Corporate identity may serve as a constraint on behaviour that limits strategic and tactical options. It may also constitute a strategic resource that enables action. The seven distinctive characteristics of front organizations identified in the paper enable them to overcome some of the constraints experienced by other organizational types in pursuing corporate objectives requiring action at a societal level.
Future research directions include: analysis and theory development in relation to the design and marketing of a “packaged present” CI; the expansion of this analysis to other types of temporary organizations; and further exploration of the implications of temporality for corporate marketing.
Deploying an “active” definition of corporate identity can take practitioners beyond the audit‐based approach, with its focus on understanding “what the organization is”, to a strategic approach to corporate marketing focused on the temporal question “what does the organization wish to become?”
This paper begins to address two significant gaps in the corporate marketing and corporate identity literatures: the first in relation to corporate identity and temporality; and the second in relation to temporary organizations, particularly front organizations. The paper identifies seven distinctive characteristics of front organizations, which provide the basis for future research.
Corporate co‐branding is analysed within the context of a case study of the sponsorship relationship between adidas and the New Zealand Rugby Union. The study indicates…
Corporate co‐branding is analysed within the context of a case study of the sponsorship relationship between adidas and the New Zealand Rugby Union. The study indicates that corporate brands may develop co‐branding relationships in order to redefine brand identity, discursively reposition the brand and build brand equity. Corporate co‐branding is established at a fundamental brand values level that, in turn, influences the type of marketing communication campaign that may be undertaken. Discourse theory provides insights into the importance of an articulation campaign in order to increase the equity of corporate brands. Co‐branding offers corporate brands access to the brand strategy of the co‐brand partner, the alignment of brand values, the marketing communication association and brand reach and network of relationships.
This article introduces the special symposium entitled “Advances in corporate brand, corporate heritage, corporate identity and corporate marketing scholarship” and…
This article introduces the special symposium entitled “Advances in corporate brand, corporate heritage, corporate identity and corporate marketing scholarship” and provide a synopsis of the five articles constituting this symposium. By means of context, this article celebrates the anniversaries of four marketing milestones apropos the formal introduction of the corporate brand concept (1995), the formal introduction of the corporate heritage notion (2006), the first special edition (in this journal) devoted to corporate identity (1997) and the formal introduction of the corporate marketing philosophical approach (1998). The latter – corporate marketing – can be viewed as a revolution in marketing thought by noting that mutually beneficial company–stakeholder relationship can be based on corporate identities and corporate brands are not restricted to products and/or services.
Taking a retrospective, this paper explains the four marketing milestones detailed above and notes the revolutionary notion of corporate marketing. All of the aforementioned have meaningfully advanced marketing scholarship over the last 20 years.
This study provides 18 reflections of developments with the corporate brand and corporate identity fields. It also shows the seminal importance of European Journal of Marketing (EJM) special editions on the territory dating back to 1997.
This paper discusses how corporate identity, corporate branding, corporate heritage, corporate identity and corporate marketing have, increasingly, become mainstream marketing concerns.
In marking these milestones, this celebratory EJM symposium comprises cutting-edge scholarship on the aforementioned areas, penned by renowned and prominent scholars from Australia, England, Germany and the USA.
In this article, van Riel’s theory of common starting points is applied to an organisation in order to further our understanding of the way in which multiplicity may be…
In this article, van Riel’s theory of common starting points is applied to an organisation in order to further our understanding of the way in which multiplicity may be managed within the corporate identity mix. The article begins by outlining the challenges that postmodern theory has posed for corporate identity theory and the contribution that van Riel’s theory can make to addressing these challenges. The theory of common starting points is then applied to the corporate identity of the Mainfreight corporation.
Research is recognised as an essential part of planning and evaluation in most areas of marketing and corporate communication, including advertising, direct marketing and…
Research is recognised as an essential part of planning and evaluation in most areas of marketing and corporate communication, including advertising, direct marketing and, increasingly, public relations and corporate communication disciplines such as employee communication and community relations. Understanding of audience interests, awareness, perceptions and information needs is critical to strategic planning of communication campaigns. Secondly, identification and quantification of changes in awareness, perception and, ultimately, behaviour is necessary to evaluate objectively the effectiveness of communication (ie the outcomes or results). Nowhere is research more important than in multicultural and cross‐cultural communication. International relations began with human migrations and trade and reach new levels today with globalisation, corporations, organisations and governments increasingly seeking to create consistencies and shared values across divergent cultural groups. They seek to create consistencies and shared values in relation to products (eg Coca‐Cola, IBM, McDonalds), policies (eg trade agreements) and in popular culture such as films, television programmes and news media. Social rules and shared values, ie the culture of communities, affect organisations seeking to communicate multiculturally and cross‐culturally at two levels. First, the “home” culture of the organisation wishing to communicate shapes policies, plans and products that are produced. Secondly, the cultures of audiences inform and substantially shape their interpretation and use of information. Often, multicultural and cross‐cultural communication is a case of “Chinese whispers” on an international scale. What one says or shows is frequently not what others hear or see. Studies cited in this paper show that culture is a vitally important factor in communication. Yet, companies and even governments attempt communication with little understanding of audiences which they wish to reach and with which they wish to build relationships and understanding. This paper examines cultural considerations specifically in the field of public relations and corporate communication in the Asia Pacific region which is comprised of a diverse range of cultures and has been identified as the largest market in the world. Thus, it is increasingly a focal point of global communication campaigns.
According to the age‐old proverb, two heads are better than one. This is surely the case with a co‐branded partnership between two or more different corporations. And when…
According to the age‐old proverb, two heads are better than one. This is surely the case with a co‐branded partnership between two or more different corporations. And when the brands concerned are closely matched to begin with, the resulting co‐brand is likely to make an even greater impact.