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Public sector branding: an internal brand management perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0271-7887
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The increased use of branding within the public sector signifies an important area for academic research that currently lacks theory and empirical evidence; public sector branding. Extant literature paints a scattered picture. On one hand, some branding principles appear to be equally relevant in the public sector as they are in the private sphere. On the other hand, the public sector appears to require a somewhat distinct approach to branding as there are contextual differences that may affect branding principles, their implementation, and outcomes. Thus, the field lacks established relevant theoretical frameworks to guide public sector organizations in their branding efforts.

One particular area of interest is that of internal brand management. A strong organizational brand is dependent on the brand values being incorporated into the fabric of an organization and into the behaviors of its employees. How this outcome can be achieved in the public sector, however, is still unknown. Thus, the purpose of this dissertation is to investigate central factors affecting the implementation of internal brand management in the public sector, considering its specific nature.

Through a multi-method study, this dissertation presents the synthesized findings of four individual papers. The first paper, a literature review, explores extant research on public sector branding. The next two papers are based on a qualitative case study, which includes interviews, observations, and brandrelated documents. The fourth paper is based on a quantitative study. The three empirical papers investigate various factors that influence internal brand management in the public sector.

The synthesized findings demonstrate that organizations within the public sector need to approach branding in a manner that considers its distinct nature. From an internal brand management perspective this entails considering contextual, organizational, and individual factors. These factors have been found to affect branding principles and their implementation in public organizations and indicate the unique nature of public sector branding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2019. , p. 86
Series
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 104
Keywords [en]
public sector branding, internal brand management, internal branding, organizational branding, brand commitment, brand architecture, internal communication, organizational practices, public service motivation
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies; marketing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-161339ISBN: 978-91-7855-096-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-161339DiVA, id: diva2:1334478
Public defence
2019-08-30, Hörsal S205, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-08-15 Created: 2019-07-02 Last updated: 2019-08-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Branding in the public sector: a systematic literature review and directions for future research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Branding in the public sector: a systematic literature review and directions for future research
2019 (English)In: Journal of Brand Management, ISSN 1350-231X, E-ISSN 1479-1803, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 126-140Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The increased interest of public organizations in using corporate branding principles creates a need to understand how to implement such principles effectively. Although previous research investigates challenges related to branding in this context, the findings provide contradictory evidence and opposing recommendations. The purpose of this study is to conduct a systematic review of literature on branding in the public sector and to explore directions for future research. The results demonstrate that owing to the distinct differences between the private and public sectors, there is a need to adapt branding principles to meet the sector-specific challenges faced by public organizations. However, the extent of the required changes needs further research. This literature review presents a number of potential directions for future studies, which focus on diverse topics related to the internal and external aspects that are crucial to the successful branding of public organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2019
Keywords
literature review, corporate branding, public organization, public sector, stakeholders, public sector branding
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156848 (URN)10.1057/s41262-018-0116-2 (DOI)000465156200004 ()2-s2.0-85046632494 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-03-01 Created: 2019-03-01 Last updated: 2019-07-02Bibliographically approved
2. What about context in internal brand management?: Understanding employee brand commitment in the public sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What about context in internal brand management?: Understanding employee brand commitment in the public sector
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
public sector branding, internal brand management, employee brand commitment, identity and values, political leadership
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies; marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-161365 (URN)
Available from: 2019-07-02 Created: 2019-07-02 Last updated: 2019-08-05
3. A brand within a brand: an integrated understanding of internal brand management and brand architecture in the public sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A brand within a brand: an integrated understanding of internal brand management and brand architecture in the public sector
2019 (English)In: Journal of Brand Management, ISSN 1350-231X, E-ISSN 1479-1803, Vol. 26, no 3, p. 277-290Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Branding in the public sector is emerging as an interesting area of research, as diverse organisations find themselves using branding principles to promote a consistent, clear brand. However, very little is known how public organisations could, or should, manage their brands. The purpose of this research, therefore, is to explore brand management processes in the public sector, and its implication for brand architecture, from an employee perspective. With a qualitative approach, the study argues that branding is important not only for the organisation, but also for individual departments. Further, unlike branding in the private sector, public organisations may be more concerned with supporting a positive perception and organisational attractiveness rather than a unique and differentiated brand. This may have implications for brand architecture. By allowing individual departments to manage their brand with support from organisational structures that provide alignment and focus, organisations can form a brand architecture that supports a strong organisational brand and employee brand commitment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019
Keywords
Brand management, Brand architecture, Internal brand management, Public organization, Public sector
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158933 (URN)10.1057/s41262-018-0128-y (DOI)000466193900005 ()
Available from: 2019-05-15 Created: 2019-05-15 Last updated: 2019-07-02Bibliographically approved
4. Internal brand management in the public sector: Internal communication, organizational practices, and affective outcomes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Internal brand management in the public sector: Internal communication, organizational practices, and affective outcomes
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
brand commitment, brand identification, brand pride, internal branding, internal communication, organizational practices, public sector, public service motivation
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-161367 (URN)
Available from: 2019-07-02 Created: 2019-07-02 Last updated: 2019-08-05

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