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A branded world: the role of leadership

Since the late 80’s, brands have gained centre stage in marketing and managerial discourse. From having been a mere marker that identifies the producer or the origin of a product, the brand is now conceptualized as the essence of the corporation, its most crucial “asset”.

With the shift in focus, from tangibles to intangibles, the core activity of many corporations is transformed: from the production of things to the production of images, values, identities and other intangible assets. To an increasing extent, issues such as corporate values, brand building, social responsibility, etc., have been established as topics on the leadership agenda.

Although there are several studies describing the emergence of a branded world, there are few studies that explore what this means for leadership and organizational life. How are leadership and organizing performed when consumption becomes more visual, everyday life is aesthetisized, and the quest for identities is intensified? In a branded world, organizations are increasingly competing on the basis of their ability to express who they are and what they stand for, and organizations are therefore in many aspects becoming more “expressive”. When production and consumption are no longer just a matter of function, aesthetic, emotional and symbolic values seem to be central to organizations. This implies that leadership and organization become less concerned with the transformation of raw materials into products, and more focused on the transformation of products into lifestyles, ideas, brands, etc. But how is this transformation from substances to expressive images constructed? And how, then, can we understand the processes of leadership and organizing?

In a society where signs are loaded with meaning, and intangible assets take a front position, the role of leaders and the practice of leadership is highly interesting to explore. The overall purpose of the program is to deepen our understanding of the process of leading and managing intangible assets. In order to explore how leadership and organizing are formed and performed in the program focuses on issues such as the construction of identities, brand-building and leadership, and the expressive strategies of leaders.

Project leader:
Ingalill Holmberg and Lars Strannegård

Research team:
Ingalill Holmberg, Lars Strannegård and Miriam Salzer-Mörling (SU)  

Status:


Publications

Strannegård, L. (2006) Från det ena till det andra - om ledarskap som översättningspraktik. In Rehn, A. & Kärreman, D. (Eds.) Den nya organisationsläran, Lund: Liber. »

Strannegård, L. (2005) Varumärken och konsten. In Malmquist, K. & Olof-Ors, M. (Eds.) Samtidskonst för lärare, Stockholm: Lärarförbundet » och Moderna museet. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. & Garsten, C. (2004) Jakten på Identitet. Nordiske Organisationsstudier. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. (2004) Storytelling & Varumärken. In Christensen, L. & Kempinsky, P. (Eds.) Att mobilisera för regional tillväxt. pp. 145-154. Lund: Studentlitteratur. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. & Strannegård, L. (2004) Leadership in a Branded World. In Chowdhury, S. (Ed.) Next Generation Business Handbook. New York: John Wiley & Sons. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. & Strannegård, L. (2004) Silence of the Brands. European Journal of Marketing, 38 (1/2): pp. 224-238. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. (2003) Avhandlingsmysteriet. In Strannegård, L. (Ed.) Avhandlingen: om att formas till forskare, pp. 167-184. Lund: Studentlitteratur. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. & Strannegård, L. (2003) Ain´t Misbehavin' - Consumption in a moralised brandscape. Paper presented at the European Academy of Management 3rd Annual Conference: Managing Through Variety: The European Style. Milano, Italien, 3-5 april.

Salzer-Mörling, M. & Strannegård, L. (2003) The Art of Keeping Apart - The Gap Beween Substance and Image. Paper presented at the Life in the Mandrake Economy. Lunds Universitet, April 25-27.

Holmberg, I. (2002) Living Trademarks. In Holger, L. & Holmberg, I. (eds.) Identity- Trademarks. Logotypes and Symbols. Stockholm: Raster Förlag. »

Holmberg, I. (2002) I en varumärkt värld - om varumärkets roll i vår tid. In Holmberg, I. & Wiman, M. (Eds.) Ledmotiv - idéskrift om ledarskap. 4 (2): pp. 7-13. »

Holmberg, i (2002) I en varumärkt värld - om varumärkets roll i vår tid. In Holmberg, I. & Wiman, M. (Eds.) En varumärkt värld, pp. 7-13. Malmö: Liber. »

Holmberg, I. & Salzer-Mörling, M. (2002) Det expressiva projektet - identitet i det senmoderna samhället. In Holmberg, I. & Wiman, M. (Eds.) En varumärkt värld, pp. 29-38. Malmö: Liber. »

Holmberg, I. & Salzer-Mörling, M. (2002) Det expressiva projektet - identitet i det senmoderna samhället. Ledmotiv - idéskrift om ledarskap. 4 (2): pp. 29-38. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. (2002) Buren av drömmar - Leda komplexa projekt. In Danielsson, A. & Holmberg, I. (Eds.) Ledarskapet olika skepnader - exemplet Hallandsås. pp. 135-142. Lund: Studentlitteratur. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. (2002) Det krönta hornet. In Holger, L. & Holmberg, I. (Eds.) Identitet - om varumärken, tecken och symboler. pp. 201-212. Stockholm: Raster Förlag and National Museum of fine Arts. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. (2002) Expressivt ledarskap - om jakten på identitet, image och integration. In Lind, R. & Arvidsson, G. (Eds.) Ledning av företag och förvaltningar. Stockholm: SNS förlag. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. (2002) In Pursuit of the Modern - a story on the Swedish Post office. In Holger, L. & Holmberg, I. (Eds.) Identity - Trademarks, Logotypes and Symbols. pp. 201-212. Stockholm: Raster Förlag and National Museum of fine Arts. »
Salzer-Mörling, M. & Strannegård, L. (2002) Det utmärkta teckenspråket - om intryck, uttryck och avtryck i en varumärkt värld. In Holger, L. & Holmberg, I. (Eds.) Identitet - om varumärken, tecken och symboler. pp. 151-160. Stockholm: Raster Förlag and National Museum of fine Arts. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. & Strannegård, L. (2002) The excellent sign language. In Holger, L. & Holmberg, I. (Eds.) Identity - Trademarks, Logotypes and Symbols. pp. 151-160. Stockholm: Raster Förlag and National Museum of fine Arts. »

Strannegård, L. (2002) Shoppingens anatomi : byggnaden styr begären. In Holmberg, I. & Wiman, M. (Eds.) En varumärkt värld, pp. 93-102. Malmö: Liber. » Även publicerad i Ledmotiv - idéskrift om ledarskap, 4 (2): pp. 93-104. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. (2001) Jakten på företagets själ - med värderingar som ledstjärnor. Ledmotiv - idéskrift om ledarskap. 3 (2): pp. 55-66. »

Salzer-Mörling, M. & Strannegård, L. (2001) The Silence of the Brands. Paper presented at the 16:e Nordiska Företagsekonomiska Ämneskonferensen i Uppsala. Uppsala, 16-18 augusti.

Salzer-Mörling, M. (2000) Global Cultures - Managing Across Borders. Master of Business Administration Journal. X (1).  

Salzer-Mörling, M. & Yakhlef, A. (2000) Intellectual Capital: Managing By Numbers. In Prichard, C., Hull, R., Wilmott, H. & Chumer, M. (Eds.) Managing Knowledge: Critical investigations of work and learning. London: Macmillan.

Salzer-Mörling, M. & Yakhlef, A. (2000) Mätandets magi - om att leda intellektuellt kapital. Ledmotiv - idéskrift om ledarskap. 2 (1): pp. 101-108. »
Columns, Popular Press, etc

Strannegård, L. (2006) Designterror: om 2000-talet som ett formgivet helvete. Att:ention, Bonnier Tidskrifter. februari (1): pp. 109-112. »

Strannegård, L. (2006) En estetiserad ekonomi - om det årliga designåret. Nationalmuseum: Nationalmuseums Årsbok 2006: Om Design.

Strannegård, L. (2005) Design as advertising. International Artists Studio Program in Sweden (IASPIS): Craft in Dialogue. pp. 23.

Strannegård, L. (2005) Så lagom nyskapande. Designtidskriften Form. (3): pp. 72.

Strannegård, L. (2005) Varumärkesarkitektur. Arkitekturmuseet, The Swedish Museum of Architecture. Stockholm: Arkitekturmuseet

Strannegård, L. & Salzer-Mörling, M. (2004) Varumärkning - en bra idé? Quovadis. pp. 24-25.

Strannegård, L. (2002) Shopping utgör stadens hela essens. Svenska Dagbladet, Under strecket, Kultur, pp. 7, April 18.

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