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Digital Organisational Storytellers: Online Marketing as Identity Work

Curtis, Lucill J (2017) Digital Organisational Storytellers: Online Marketing as Identity Work. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

The thesis examines the effects of online marketing practices on the identity construction of individual marketers, referred to as the Digital Organisational Storyteller (DOS), across five business-to-business (B2B) organisations. I focus on illuminating their marketing processes and self-understanding when undertaking online marketing work, a practice I describe as bringing the organisation into being online. My research questions examine what the online marketing work processes the DOS undertake tell us about identity at work. They also enquire as to how they construct and understand their online identity work negotiations through these marketing activities, while considering how the DOS makes sense and gives sense to an intended audience. To investigate identity construction, I review studies on identity and identity work from organisation studies, management and social sciences’ literature. I also review marketing work, branding and co-creation literature from marketing scholarship. As the means to understand their lived experience, I study the work the DOS does, as a process of sensemaking and sensegiving through storytelling. Taking an interpretive, qualitative approach, I engage with storytelling through the methodology by asking the DOS to tell stories during the interviews. The first contribution of the thesis includes the introduction of four different character ‘types’ that summarise the way the DOS approaches sensemaking and sensegiving processes. The second contribution extends an understanding of online marketing work in contemporary B2B organisations. Accordingly, it can be categorised as a range of preparatory offline and online activities that culminate in textual and pictorial representations of the organisation, in a process described as ‘bringing the online organisation into being.’ These contributions are useful in informing our understanding of the types of identity constructions and practices that are emerging from online marketing work processes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD58.7 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2017 09:05
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2017 11:33
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20037

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