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National identity, branding, history and the company

The project aims to provide a deeper understanding of identity construction in our contemporary society. It will be a critical and historically orientated research perspective on nation branding as well as an understanding of national identity as a competitive tool for trade and business. This goal will be realised through a unique combination of three areas of research: nationalism, branding and business history. All the three of these areas have in the last decade become increasingly important, but as of yet have not been placed together in one research project.

With focus on the firm as a point of departure, the project main problem is to find out how firms, nations and consumers together, and on their own, have produced, used and expressed their identities, with national references in their narratives, and how these understandings have changed in time and place.

Parts of the project will focus on elements such as: how are national references used? Has this application changed over time, and have national references been used more during some periods over others. How have consumers increased their influence, and transformed themselves in a variety of national contexts. How have the states’ use of national references been? Can national reputation have negative consequences for firms, and can firms’ reputations have negative consequences for a nations image? Can national identity be used as a competitive tool for firms and nations?

The project is financed by Forskningsrådet for kultur og kommunikation (Research Council for culture and communication) in Denmark, and the project is led from Copenhagen Business School (CBS).

Start: 2008
End: 2010

Project leader: Professor Uffe Østergård, CBS

Other researchers: Professor Per H. Hansen, CBS, Professor Majken Schultz, CBS och Ph.D Mads Mordhorst, CBS.

Researcher from KTH: Ph. D. Brita Lundström