Aligning factors that impact direct and online corporate communication to external premium stakeholders, to influence brands' value and reputation during change

Williamson, Lisa Ann (2019) Aligning factors that impact direct and online corporate communication to external premium stakeholders, to influence brands' value and reputation during change. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Abstract

Difficulties exist for brands undergoing change when they may also be transitioning between technologically mediated communication and networking (Caughlin and Sharabi, 2013). Corporate communication trends towards a digital diet, (Brabazon, 2013) which for many Fortune 500 companies Shin, Pang and Kim (2015) suggest, primarily suits information dissemination. Others (Saffer, Sommerfeldt and Taylor, 2013) indicate digitisation is tenable in dialogue with premium stakeholders. However, as implied by the latter writers, the proposition is not limited to traditionally low accessibility of corporate leaders in larger or transnational organizations; it may be appropriated in regional or smaller to medium-sized entities (SMEs). Initially applying Grounded Theory and philosophical constructs of Constructivism, this thesis proposes tenets of a postmodern communication strategy for service and manufacturing brands. This is in an eclectic theoretical framework that maintains the content and mode of corporate accessibility and by extension, the accuracy and trustworthiness of corporate brand messages. This is achievable by a greater definition of the balance between online and network communication, establishing value and reputation while brands experience change. Challenges involve sustaining brand resonance, therefore narratives akin to change management theory, outline parameters for and of change. The narrative includes Schema Theory and Communication Theory (CT), which give boundaries for discussing resonance. Select UK, USA and CARICOM brands are examined while acknowledging cultural or phenomenological control of epistemology and communication. Evaluation of relevant theories climaxes with incorporation of Systems Theory using leadership principles, supporting scientifically sound communication strategy. Successive stages of data collection involving ethnographic preliminary primary and secondary data, followed by forty premium stakeholders in a quantitative questionnaire, set a foundation for qualitative interrogation with decision-makers. Six case studies using dyadic associations, appropriated webometrics and meaning-making reflected by Personal Construct Theory, are contextualised by Reasoned Action and Planned Behaviour Theory. With interpretivist foci, upon thematic, statistical, and content analyses together underscored by a discursive approach to findings, a theoretically and empirically justified postmodern corporate communication prototype emerges, providing sound principles for future triadic research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Electronic version of thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements of the University of Bolton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Divisions: Institute of Management
University of Bolton Theses > Business
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2019 14:37
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2019 14:37
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/2432

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