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Title: Family and business heritage entwined: how family businesses rely on heritage to compose corporate identity
Authors: Blombäck, Anna
Brunninge, Olof
Department: University of Borås. School of Business and IT
Issue Date: Dec-2011
Citation: The first international corporate brand heritage and corporate heritage identity syposium "Corportate brand heritage, nostaliga and tradtition: reflections and directions", Brunel university, London, 2011
Media type: text
Publication type: conference paper, other
Keywords: corporate branding
corporate identity
corporate history
social memory
family business
Subject Category: Subject categories::Social Sciences::Economics and Business::Business Administration
Area of Research: marketing, corporate branding, management
Strategic Research Area: Business and IT
Abstract: Delahaye et al (2009) recognize the importance of corporate history as a specific genre that plays a key role in constructing identity and shaping corporate communication. While many firms use corporate history statements in their communications, the content and purpose of using these can differ. In this paper we focus particularly on corporate history statements on websites – viewing these as instruments for creation and maintenance of heritage identities and brands. In family businesses, history issues are particularly salient as the history of the family and the company are often entwined. We maintain that this entwinement provides a particular basis for creation and maintenance of heritage-based corporate identities and brands and our aim is to uncover how the combination of family and corporate history is-/can be leveraged in heritage identities and branding. In addition to the heritage literature our discussion and basic assumptions draw on the notion of dual and hybrid identities, which reveals how seemingly disparate identities can both coexist and interrelate in an organization. To promote our discussion we identify and analyse corporate history statements, as presented on corporate websites, in Swedish and German family firms. We study the types of statements (family and/or business related) and the focus of these. As an outcome of our study we aim to reveal how family and business heritages can interplay to generate idiosyncratic and competitive corporate identities. In addition, we aim to identify dimensions that help to understand similarities and differences of corporate history statements. Our main findings cover where history is addressed (mainly the 'about us' sections of websides, less frequently on the entry page) and what aspects of history are addressed/not addressed. The cases we have examined vary as to whether the family history and the business hostory are addressed separately or if the interplay between the two is emphasized to construct a corporate heritage identity.
Appears in Collections:Konferensbidrag / Conference papers (Business Administration)

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