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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2021

Magnus Kristian Gregersen and Trine Susanne Johansen

The aim is to review and discuss main conceptualizations, themes and assumptions within organizational-level visual identity (VI) in order to identify potential avenues of…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim is to review and discuss main conceptualizations, themes and assumptions within organizational-level visual identity (VI) in order to identify potential avenues of theoretical advancement of VI as an independent construct.

Design/methodology/approach

An integrative review approach offers a structured, nuanced perspective on the concept by synthesizing extant literature through an iterative, critical and qualitative process.

Findings

The synthesis identifies three overlapping terms [corporate visual identity (CVI), visual brand identity (VBI) and VI] and two main themes (visual consistency and authenticity). The dominant assumptions underpinning consistency and authenticity are challenged by alternative understandings, which provide a platform for perceiving visual consistency and authenticity in new ways.

Research limitations/implications

The review offers an overview of organizational-level VI that helps define the concept as well as critical reflections which open up for additional research avenues that may develop it and point to potential areas for exploration.

Practical implications

The review provides practitioners with a platform for discussing how to approach visual identities with regards to consistency and authenticity.

Originality/value

The review contributes with a synthesis of VI literature covering 50 years. It offers a structured presentation of and critical discussion on the underlying, dominant assumptions. By challenging these dominant assumptions, a palette of future research opportunities, with potentials to nuance and develop the concept as a unique construct, are presented.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 23 May 2018

Magnus Kristian Gregersen and Trine Susanne Johansen

The purpose of this paper is to conceptually and empirically explore and challenge the dogma of Corporate visual identity (CVI) consistency. The goal is to nuance the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conceptually and empirically explore and challenge the dogma of Corporate visual identity (CVI) consistency. The goal is to nuance the current polarized debate of consistency or no consistency.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research strategy is employed in this paper. Specifically, the empirical work rests on an interview study with strategists from ten different CVI agencies. The interview transcripts are analyzed using template analysis.

Findings

In terms of findings, both empirical and conceptual arguments for and against CVI consistency are presented. Many of these arguments rest on conflicting assumptions of CVI communication, CVI authenticity and CVI management, which all influence the debate of CVI consistency.

Practical implications

CVI practitioners are presented with a more reflective approach to dealing with consistency and hands on examples for inspiration.

Originality/value

This paper offers alternative and more nuanced conceptualizations of CVI consistency. This includes seeing consistency and inconsistency as ends of a spectrum to be balanced rather than mutually exclusive and by differentiating between consistency across platforms and consistency over time – coined CVI continuity. Furthermore, several future research areas that can help to further develop the field of CVI are suggested.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2012

Trine Susanne Johansen and Anne Ellerup Nielsen

The purpose of this paper is to address corporte social responsibility (CSR) as a form of corporate self‐storying that highlights isomorphic processes influencing…

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2361

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address corporte social responsibility (CSR) as a form of corporate self‐storying that highlights isomorphic processes influencing legitimacy as a key organisational concern.

Design/methodology/approach

Having constructed a theoretical framework incorporating CSR and corporate identity literature, the paper draws on a discourse perspective to analyse the legitimation strategies applied by a single organisation storying its CSR involvement. The strategies are subsequently addressed in relation to isomorphic discourses of legitimacy.

Findings

The analysis supports the view that corporate self‐storying of CSR balances between the needs for differentiation and conformity. Organisations thus navigate between the value associated with compliance with societal norms and expectations and the value of promoting organisational uniqueness.

Research limitations/implications

Institutional processes result in isomorphic organisational practices also in relation to legitimacy reflected in the storying of CSR involvement. However, this study implies that isomorphism also offers organisations opportunities to stand out.

Originality/value

The contribution of the paper is twofold. First, it articulates a framework for addressing CSR communication as a form of corporate self‐storying that is embedded in a differentiation/conformity paradox. Second, it explores how an organisation's extended responsibility – i.e. responsibility for supplier practices – is storied in a way that suggests that addressing legitimacy is a question of navigating the paradox.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Trine Susanne Johansen and Anne Ellerup Nielsen

Societal developments and stakeholder awareness place responsibility and legitimacy high on corporate agendas. Increased awareness heightens focus on stakeholder relations…

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3737

Abstract

Purpose

Societal developments and stakeholder awareness place responsibility and legitimacy high on corporate agendas. Increased awareness heightens focus on stakeholder relations and dialogue as key aspects in corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate identity and corporate communication scholarship, but the question remains how can dialogue be initiated and maintained? The purpose of this paper is to establish a framework for conceptualizing dialogue.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a review of CSR, corporate identity, corporate communication and stakeholder literature, a framework is developed taking into account the different stakes held by key stakeholder groups, i.e. consumers, investors, employees, non‐governmental organization and suppliers. Based on the discursive terms of form and script, we argue that different stakes condition different dialogical types.

Findings

The paper argues that the stakeholder orientations of the CSR, corporate identity and corporate communication disciplines can aid in strengthening dialogue. It is thus suggested that dialogue may be strengthened by constructing a framework which links the stakes held by key stakeholder groups to specific dialogue forms and scripts.

Practical implications

The practical implication of articulating stakeholder dialogue as scripted interaction is that organizations seeking to engage stakeholders strategically must understand and respect conventions and expectations.

Originality/value

The paper's contribution is to expand the notion of dialogue within communication research and to provide organizations with a framework for understanding stakeholder involvement in identity relevant issues of responsibility and legitimacy.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Trine Susanne Johansen

Situated in scholarship on narrative and antenarrative, the purpose of this paper is to develop central assumptions of an (ante)narrative approach to collective identity…

Abstract

Purpose

Situated in scholarship on narrative and antenarrative, the purpose of this paper is to develop central assumptions of an (ante)narrative approach to collective identity research and to reflexively address the methodological questions such an approach raises for producing and analysing (ante)stories. (Ante)stories include proper stories with chronology and plot as well as antestories which are fragmented and incomplete.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a concrete research project exploring collective identity as narratively constructed in negotiation between organizational insiders and outsiders, emphasis is placed on elements related to the production and analysis of (ante)stories. Challenges of the applied (ante)narrative methodology are addressed focusing on three central questions: where do (ante)stories come from? Whose (ante)stories are told? And whose storied constructions of collective identity are explored?

Findings

The (ante)narrative methodology allows for a broad approach to producing and analysing (ante)stories. Consequently, it provides a rich understanding of the narrative practice of constructing collective identity. However, it also raises questions relating to the role of the researcher in the analytic process.

Research limitations/implications

Implications include the necessity of developing analytic methods that take the fragmented, incoherent and dynamic nature of storytelling into account as well as reflect the researcher as a co-teller. Moreover, it is suggested that there is a need for developing a set of alternative evaluation criteria to accompany such methods.

Originality/value

To present and reflexively discuss (ante)narrative as a research methodology within collective identity research.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Trine Susanne Johansen and Sophie Esmann Andersen

Integration is a key component within marketing‐ and corporate communication. Benefits include synergetic representations, increased credibility and transparency. However…

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4478

Abstract

Purpose

Integration is a key component within marketing‐ and corporate communication. Benefits include synergetic representations, increased credibility and transparency. However, integration may be problematic. With the purpose of re‐conceptualizing integration, this paper aims to discuss how organizational self‐understanding and self‐presentation are challenged by consumer resistance as integrative communication practices prevent organizations from fully engaging in meaningful stakeholder dialogue.

Design/methodology/approach

Framed by a cross‐disciplinary review of integration as a concept, Arla Foods' “ONE” is analyzed by way of a qualitative content analysis as an exemplary case of integrated communication. Subsequently, the case is approached from a critical consumer perspective, drawing on empirical studies of consumer responses to and conversations with Arla Foods.

Findings

An alternative approach to integration is presented replacing the notion of “one voice, one sound, one story” with an emersion of the organization into consumer narratives and market cultures. Integration is re‐conceptualized as moving from an intra‐organizational perspective towards a co‐creative perspective.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for further re‐conceptualization of integrated communication in order to develop a theoretical framework and definition that articulates a co‐creative view on integration.

Practical implications

Re‐articulating integration based on co‐creation carries different potential consequences for communication management, e.g. listening to consumer voices, self‐reflection and co‐development.

Originality/value

The original contribution lies in re‐conceptualizing integration as moving from an intra‐organizational perspective towards a co‐creative perspective with both practical and research implications.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 October 2011

Wim J. Elving

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398

Abstract

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Michael B. Goodman

Downloads
1111

Abstract

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Content available

Abstract

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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