The brand manager as practical author: An empirical study of the co-creation of a CSR-based brand

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    Abstract

    This study focuses on the communicative constitution of a CSR-based brand as we explore how employees’ communicative labour is used by brand management to constitute CSR as an embedded part of the corporate brand. We employ a “communication as constitutive of brands” (CCB) approach that conceptualizes brand as a discursive brand space, and we draw attention to the way in which brand meaning is co-created by relevant stakeholders, specifically by employees. This challenges the classical paradigm of brand management that assumes a high degree of managerial control over the brand. Drawing on data obtained during a longitudinal case study involving the strategic use of employees’ stories, we analyse the communicative labour involved when employees’ voluntary activities outside of work are used to communicate a CSR philosophy in the constitution of a corporate brand. We focus on the narratives of managers and employees, with the aim of understanding how employees are invited to co-author the discursive brand space, while at the same time, brand management attempts to manage the development of the branding process by functioning as a practical author. Through the concept of “practical author” we show how management attempts to author a coherent and shared brand narrative by highlighting some preferred discourses over others. As we discuss, this invites considerations of how authority and nuances of power may be addressed within a communicative approach.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftJournal of Brand Management
    Vol/bind29
    Udgave nummer6
    Sider (fra-til)584-597
    ISSN1350-231X
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - nov. 2022

    Bibliografisk note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

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