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Faculty responses to business school branding: a discursive approach

Frandsen, S., Gotsi, M., Johnston, A. , Whittle, A., Frenkel, S. & Spicer, A. (2018). Faculty responses to business school branding: a discursive approach. European Journal of Marketing, 52(5/6), pp. 1128-1153. doi: 10.1108/ejm-11-2016-0628


It is increasingly recognized that the branding of universities presents a different set of challenges from corporate, for-profit sectors. However, much remains unknown about how faculty in particular interpret and make sense of branding in this complex environment. This paper investigates faculty responses to branding through a qualitative interview-based study of four business schools. Our discursive approach to understanding faculty responses highlights the fluid and reflexive nature of brand engagement, in which faculty adopt a number of stances towards their school’s branding efforts. In particular, the study identifies three main faculty responses to branding: endorsement, ambivalence and cynicism. The study highlights the ambiguities created from higher education brand management efforts, and the multiple ways that faculty exploit, frame and resist the branding of their business schools. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for branding in university contexts.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: higher education, business schools, brands, branding, faculty, discourse
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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