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Struggles in organizational attempts to adopt new branding logics: the case of a marketizing university
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School. Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland.
2014 (English)In: Consumption, markets & culture, ISSN 1025-3866, E-ISSN 1477-223X, Vol. 17, no 6, 522-552 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent research underlines that strong branded identities are created through co-creational processes in which multiple stakeholders are actively involved and brand identities are matched with cultural, political, and economic forces in society. However, there is a lack of in-depth research into how organizations attempt to adopt new branding logics. To address this research gap, we conduct a study of a university that is rebranding itself in accordance with a new market-oriented, service-dominant logic. While harmonic value co-creation between the brand and stakeholders is emphasized in an earlier literature, our study shows that attempts to adopt these logics trigger contradictory and adversarial interpretations among stakeholders about the role and identity of the focal actor vis-à-vis their own. We conclude that adopting new branding logics involves struggles and dynamics of power and resistance, which have passed unnoticed in earlier research. Resistance is not only targeted toward the brand's symbolic meanings and conducted by marginal consumer groups to enhance their own identities. Rather, it can also be targeted toward the tangible resource roles that stakeholders are expected to assume vis-à-vis the brand, and conducted by various stakeholder resistors – with the outcome of undermining and shifting the essence of the brand itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 17, no 6, 522-552 p.
Keyword [en]
branding logics, consumer resistance, organizations, stakeholders, service-dominant logic, marketization, university, merger
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102056DOI: 10.1080/10253866.2013.876347ISI: 000343651100002OAI: diva2:707747
Available from: 2014-03-25 Created: 2014-03-25 Last updated: 2014-12-02Bibliographically approved

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Tikkanen, Henrikki
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