A new framework for strengthening internal corporate image: A stakeholder-inclusive perspective

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    The potential influence that internal stakeholders’ image of the organisation could have on external stakeholders’ image of the organisation, is strongly supported in the literature. This research project attempted to address the need for an approach that facilitates employee engagement coupled with a leadership approach that allows collaboration, inclusion and co-operation within the organisation, to strengthen the internal corporate image. This article reports on the results of the second phase of this research project where a proposed stakeholder-inclusive conceptual framework for strengthening the internal corporate image, built from a stakeholder-inclusive perspective as depicted in the King III report on corporate governance, was explored in practice. A quantitative, self-administered web-based survey was conducted with the 2014 winners of the Deloitte Best Company to Work For (BCTWF) survey. The results not only indicated that these organisations’ practices resonate with the proposed stakeholder-inclusive framework, but also that the principles of the framework, namely; stakeholder theory; integrated internal communication; peace arena; stakeholder engagement by means of the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard (AA1000SES) and responsible leadership; and stewardship correlate with one another. The stakeholder-inclusive conceptual framework expands on the body of knowledge on corporate image and provides corporate communication professionals with a guide for strengthening their organisation’s internal corporate image which could serve as starting point for strengthening the external corporate image and eventual corporate reputation.