The mutuality of mutuals: the role of the corporate brand and it’s brand community in a “moralised” organisation

Keith Glanfield, Patrick Reedy, David Dose

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Mutual organisations differ from conventional shareholder owned enterprises. Operated for the benefit of their members, not external shareholders, they are characterised by representative or direct democratic structures, shared ownership by their members and the distribution of surpluses. Mutuals are community based “moralised” organisations: they do not highly rely on idiosyncratic individualism and the competitiveness of individuals pursuing individualised entrepreneurial careers. This study’s contribution challenges established branding theory that proposes front-line staff are separately and independently influenced by internal employee facing and external customer facing branding phenomena. Conducted in a UK mutual retailing organisation, the study reveals front-line members (FLMs) do not separately distinguish between the internal employee facing and external customer facing corporate branding phenomena. Rather these phenomena combine to form the “moralised” elements of a mutual’s corporate brand, influencing FLM identification with the mutual, with the strength of this identification strongly influencing FLM brand community activity. The study establishes the importance of “moralisation” for brand community development and how a brand community operates in a mutual organisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-9
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Mutual, moralised organisation, corporate associations, brand community

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