Within corporate communication corporate identity is assigned a boundary-spanning function
between the organisation and its surrounding environment - creating and maintaining relationships
with numerous stakeholders. As organisations engage in stakeholder relations, the consistency of
their identities may be brought in to question as multiple relations may invite the construction of
multiple social corporate selves. Within a social constructionist perspective, this paper addresses
how one organisation’s corporate identity construction can be explored within relations to different
stakeholders in a social media framework. Based on the assumption that relationships with multiple
stakeholder groups suggest that identity is constructed as multiple identities rather than a single
identity, the paper asks: how can such multiplicity be explored analytically? And what are the
possible implications for the corporate identity concept?
The central proposition is that corporate identity – often described as a coherent, consistent and
constant expression of an organisation’s essence (van Riel 1995, Balmer & Grey 2000, Cornelissen
2004) - also can be viewed as socially constructed, fluid and multifaceted. Approaching identity as
socially constructed is arguably in line with a stakeholder framework where organisations adapt or
respond to different stakeholder interests (Cornelissen 2004) implying that multiple identities are
constructed by way of the different social selves that emerge through numerous stakeholder
relationships. Consequently, there is a potential discrepancy between mainstream corporate
communication’s focus on a uniform corporate identity (Hübner 2007) and the simultaneous focus
on stakeholder adaptation and dialogue: a discrepancy that calls for greater focus on relational
identity perspectives. Within a social constructionist framework, relational... [continues]
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(2010, 08). Social Corporate Selves – Relational Identity Construction. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 08, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Social-Corporate-Selves-Relational-Identity-377640.html
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"Social Corporate Selves – Relational Identity Construction." StudyMode.com. 08, 2010. Accessed 08, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Social-Corporate-Selves-Relational-Identity-377640.html.