Center for Advanced Management

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Prof. TC Melewar (Brunel University)


  • Datum: 05.05.2009
    13:00 - 14:30
    E004, Kaulbachstr. 45/EG

Corporate Identity: A Research Journey

This piece of research traces the tradition, insights and challenges in the area of corporate identity.  It can be argued that in the early 90s this research topic revolved around the notion of corporate visual identity emphasizing on the aspects of the corporate name, logotype, symbol, slogan, colour and typography.  In about the same period globalisation became a key phenomenon for companies that wanted to expand and capture a greater share of the market.  As a result, the intrinsic research focus during this era shifted to the degree of standardisation of corporate visual identity elements. As we proceeded further into the late 90s we found increasing interest of researchers in trying to unfold the true meaning of the corporate identity concept.  Hence, in 2002 the initial model of corporate identity was developed by the author, which consists of communications and visual identity, behaviour, corporate culture and market conditions.  However, upon further investigation we found that this model has not embraced some of the other key strategic elements that are inherent in explaining the corporate identity construct.  Thus, in 2003, a more comprehensive model was developed comprising of elements, such as, communication, design, culture, behaviour, structure, strategy and industry identity.  A preliminary research was conducted by engaging with experts in the field and hey presto the new model revealed the current practices and issues.  These findings were validated further by a quantitative study. Several interesting implications emerged that managers should consider in the strategic thinking and development of their corporation’s identity.   The latest model which was constructed on the basis of past research studies, qualitative insights and quantitative evidence provides managers with a comprehensive and thorough understanding of what it takes to develop a strategic corporate identity. At this juncture of the study a refined model was developed which shows the relationship between the various identified constructs.  This model highlights the central role played by corporate communications in the progression and development of corporate identity.   The model suggests that significant managerial activities should focus on activities surrounding the areas of marketing communications, management communications and organizational communications.  A further study is required to test this refined model in order to show the relationships between the various constructs.