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Family and business heritage entwined: how family businesses rely on heritage to compose corporate identity
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
Keywords [en]
corporate branding, corporate identity, heritage, corporate history, social memory, family business, marketing, corporate branding, management
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Bussiness and IT
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-6706Local ID: 2320/10044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-6706DiVA, id: diva2:887407
Conference
The first international corporate brand heritage and corporate heritage identity syposium "Corportate brand heritage, nostaliga and tradtition: reflections and directions", Brunel university, London, 2011
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2016-11-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf