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Corporate brand as a contract with stakeholders – theology or pragmatism?

Tarnovskaya, Veronika LU (2015) In Marketing Intelligence and Planning 33(6). p.865-886
Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of brand contract in B2B from two perspectives: the theological and pragmatic.

Design/methodology/approach – A review of the branding literature challenges the dominant notion of the brand covenant as a firm driven, unilateral promise, referred to as a theological contract. The study adds to this the pragmatic perspective of a social contract, as deployed by the social sciences and IMP literatures. A tentative framework of a dialectical contract is developed through drawing on three cases of Chinese suppliers for the focal firm, IKEA.
Findings – First, both types of contract are identified in the firm’s practices. Second, the specific goals and... (More)
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of brand contract in B2B from two perspectives: the theological and pragmatic.

Design/methodology/approach – A review of the branding literature challenges the dominant notion of the brand covenant as a firm driven, unilateral promise, referred to as a theological contract. The study adds to this the pragmatic perspective of a social contract, as deployed by the social sciences and IMP literatures. A tentative framework of a dialectical contract is developed through drawing on three cases of Chinese suppliers for the focal firm, IKEA.
Findings – First, both types of contract are identified in the firm’s practices. Second, the specific goals and roles of managers and suppliers in each contract are defined. The theological contract is used by managers to strengthen suppliers’ beliefs in the company’s vision and mission, while the pragmatic one
is employed by both parties for the implementation of the brand’s norms and brand equity. Third, a new framework for and the definition of a dual, dialectical brand contract in B2B are developed.
Practical implications – Managers are advised to mediate between the theological pledge of their brand and its pragmatic implementation.

Originality/value – The paper challenges the dominant theological discourse in extant branding literature and puts forward a dialectical approach as a new proposition.
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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
pragmatism, social contract, core values, corporate brand, brand covenant, christian theology
in
Marketing Intelligence and Planning
volume
33
issue
6
pages
22 pages
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
external identifiers
  • scopus:84941004600
DOI
10.1108/MIP-06-2014-0111
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e1b266d5-058a-491f-a639-662c4ee29712
date added to LUP
2017-05-28 21:38:20
date last changed
2017-06-19 11:31:06
@article{e1b266d5-058a-491f-a639-662c4ee29712,
  abstract     = {<b>Purpose </b>– The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of brand contract in B2B from two perspectives: the theological and pragmatic.<br/><br/><b>Design/methodology/approach</b> – A review of the branding literature challenges the dominant notion of the brand covenant as a firm driven, unilateral promise, referred to as a theological contract. The study adds to this the pragmatic perspective of a social contract, as deployed by the social sciences and IMP literatures. A tentative framework of a dialectical contract is developed through drawing on three cases of Chinese suppliers for the focal firm, IKEA.<br/><b>Findings </b>– First, both types of contract are identified in the firm’s practices. Second, the specific goals and roles of managers and suppliers in each contract are defined. The theological contract is used by managers to strengthen suppliers’ beliefs in the company’s vision and mission, while the pragmatic one<br/>is employed by both parties for the implementation of the brand’s norms and brand equity. Third, a new framework for and the definition of a dual, dialectical brand contract in B2B are developed.<br/><b>Practical implications </b>– Managers are advised to mediate between the theological pledge of their brand and its pragmatic implementation.<br/><br/><b>Originality/value</b> – The paper challenges the dominant theological discourse in extant branding literature and puts forward a dialectical approach as a new proposition.<br/>},
  author       = {Tarnovskaya, Veronika},
  keyword      = {pragmatism,social contract,core values,corporate brand,brand covenant,christian theology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {865--886},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
  series       = {Marketing Intelligence and Planning},
  title        = {Corporate brand as a contract with stakeholders – theology or pragmatism?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/MIP-06-2014-0111},
  volume       = {33},
  year         = {2015},
}