"Through the Story": Organizational Recasting and the Necessity of Narrative-Driven Internal Branding

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 1-1-2010


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Communication and Rhetorical Studies


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Pat Arneson

Committee Member

Janie Harden-Fritz

Committee Member

Calvin Troup


Communication, Internal Branding, Narrative Paradigm, Narrative Rationality, Organization


Organizational brands create meaning within the circuit of corporate culture, image culture, and identity culture. When the marketplace environment shifts, organizations may adapt to change by revisiting their brand stories as meaning-making devices that congeal corporate, image, and identity culture. Organizations seeking to sustain a competitive advantage may elect to revitalize their core identity and recast their brands into the marketplace. To successfully recast their brands, organizations must align brand values with those of employees by embarking on internal branding initiatives. While internal branding is imperative for organizations seeking to align their organizational identity with its projected image, a strategy built from organizational narrative rather than behavioral or contextual factors will ground the internal branding efforts into a values and purpose-laden framework. The brand story is a guiding instrument for organizations that provides a meaning-laden source for employees seeking to assess their values against those of the organization. Realizing the persuasiveness of values and other good reasons, Walter Fisher's narrative paradigm expands traditional rationality to encompass values and good reasons as central components to narrative rationality. This dissertation introduces a narrative-driven internal branding that emphasizes values, good reasons, and the assessment of probability and fidelity standards between employee and organization, as exemplified by Patagonia® and other enduring companies. Through the story, organizations may confidently recast their brands into the marketplace with values, purpose, and meaning shared among all employees.





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