17.02.2015
Doctoral Dissertation

26 March. M.Soc.Sc. Maarit Vuorinen (Faculty of Humanities, Organizational Communication & Public Relations)

Time:

26.3.2015 12:00 — 15:00


Location: Seminaarinmaki , Vanha Juhlasali, Seminarium S212
Maarit Vuorinen defends her doctoral dissertation in Organizational Communication & Public Relations ”Organising capacity – A collective process leading to place branding:Coordination, co-operation and engagement”. Opponent Professor Cathy Parker (Manchester Metropolitan University) and custos Professor Marita Vos (University of Jyväskylä).

M.Soc.Sc. Maarit Vuorinen defends her doctoral dissertation in Organizational Communication & Public Relations ”Organising capacity – A collective process leading to place branding:Coordination, co-operation and engagement”. Opponent Professor Cathy Parker (Manchester Metropolitan University) and custos Professor Marita Vos (University of Jyväskylä).

The purpose of this research was to investigate joint place branding in the context of organising capacity, emphasising the process leading to place branding. The aim was to gain knowledge about coordination, co-operation and engagement as the key elements in place branding that structure collective action, and also to gain insights for theory development. The first stage of the research consisted of a literature study. At the second stage the empirical data was collected by conducting four focus group interviews in three regions in Finland, using phenomenographic analysis. The third and final stage was bringing theoretical findings and empirical data together.

The literature study showed that a change is needed in traditional place management structure for it to become more collective activity oriented. The quality of relationships is at the core especially where collective decisions are seen as important. However, this process is challenged by various difficulties related to the differences in value orientation between various stakeholders and to the setting where organisations co-operate, such as legitimacy issues and a lack of understanding of how to empower multiple stakeholders to cooperate.

The results of the interviews showed that co-operation lay within the domain of unclear processes and that the responsibilities of the different actors in the co-operation were not clearly organised. In place branding processes it is often still unclear who is in control and who is entitled to be involved in or to be in charge of place branding. From the perspective of engagement, one can conclude that the place attachment of various stakeholders is seen as the most important element. In addition, the differing motivations between public and private stakeholders were considered to impact on stakeholder interaction.

Based on the findings the model ‘Organising capacity – a collective process leading to place branding’ was constructed. It highlights the importance of stakeholders’ strong place connectedness and joint place-based activities. Places need to respect the value of human resources in the process leading to place branding.

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Maarit Vuorinen

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maarit.vuorinen@kamk.fi