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Using corporate identity artifacts to shape the practices of new strategic business relationships

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNConference contribution/Paperpeer-review

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Abstract

Some forms of business relationship are of strategic importance to firms. The foundations of such relationships are often laid down in procurement processes. Knowing how to create a productive, trusting and committed relationship is challenging. Following the visual turn in organisational studies we explore the role of Corporate Identity (CI) in shaping new, strategically important relationships. Specifically, we show how CI artifacts are invoked in a complex procurement routine to generate an extraordinary outcome. Drawing on Clegg's notion of 'circuits of power' we show how social and material interactions iteratively shape the developmental stages of a relationship. CI artifacts are translated and embedded in boundary spanning objects by both organisations. Boundary objects act as obligatory passage points and represent transitions between different stages of a developing relationship. In the process CI artifacts are translated in to concrete situated practices that perform the relationship. Our findings contribute to the current understanding of how firms learn how to perform trust and commitment within an unfolding and uncertain relationship.

Bibliographic note

Date of Acceptance: 29/04/2015