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Title: Brand management in social media environments : an institutional theory perspective
Author: Falls, Alan David
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2013
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The processes of branding and brand management have progressively transitioned from corporate offices to online social spaces in recent years as brands have become increasingly situated within social media. To date however there has been limited academic scrutiny directed towards understanding the impact of social media on brands and brand management. Taking the view that social media represent a new institutional environment for brands and brand management, this research draws from institutional theory in exploring brand management in social media environments. Specifically the study explores how social media impacts upon brand management, and how brand management responds to the institutional demands of social media. Following a case study approach, five cases were studied with data collected from semi-structured interviews, longitudinal observations of social media brand fan pages and consultation of secondary sources. The findings show that social media can serve as a medium capable of framing the brands situated therein as worthy of attention, and moreover as legitimate actors. However the transparency of social media renders brands highly visible, creating ambivalence for brand managers and serving to constrain the range of legitimate actions that can be employed by organisations ill the management of their brands. However, institutional demands are not entirely deterministic and the findings draw attention to the roles of internal organisational processes and individual actors in influencing brand management activities in social media. The findings demonstrated that organisations do not necessarily passively comply with the demands of social media, but rather develop subtle forms of maintaining control over their brands through attempts at influencing brand-related user-generated content and the behaviours of social media users.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available