The term Corporate Identity Congruence (CIC) was recently introduced into the literature (Flint, Signori and Golicic 2018) and refers to how well concepts and terms on which companies anchor their identity, hereafter referred to as corporate identity meanings, fit together. Flint et al. (2018) define CIC as being comprised of five dimensions: (1) congruence of corporate identity meanings within a senior leader’s mind (e.g., CEO), (2) congruence of corporate identity between top managers, (3) congruence of corporate identity elements/signals, (4) congruence of corporate identity between meanings and signals, and (5) congruence of corporate identity meanings and signals over time. Marketing claims on websites, packaging, shelf-talkers and other forms of communication to customers about the identity of the parent company, are signaling a meaning that customers will assess as either congruent or incongruent with what they think the company stands for, i.e., its corporate identity (CI). For purposes of this research, we focus on the congruence of corporate identity between meanings and signals. As firms move toward becoming more sustainable by focusing on environmental, social and economic sustainability simultaneously, as directed by the triple bottom line framework (Elkington, 1998), they also ponder whether or not to communicate these efforts to stakeholders, in particular customers. One hesitancy lies within the fear that the firm may be accused of greenwashing, pink washing, or in the case of overt social commentaries, ‘social engineering,’ suggesting disingenuous motives or a lack of authenticity. To date, no published research has explored the effects of sustainability claims on CIC and marketing-relevant outcome variables. This paper presents research findings that begin to address this gap. It is structured as follows: First we offer literature background on CIC and sustainability, culminating in several unanswered questions. Then, we describe our research methodology, followed by findings and finally, conclusions.
|Titolo:||Sustainability Signaling, Corporate Identity Congruence & Corporate Image Congruence|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||04.01 Contributo in atti di convegno|