Persuasive management. A case study in a financial institution

Angel Alloza Losana, Josep M. Oroval Planas

Producció científica: Contribució a una conferènciaContribució


The research objectives were to find out how big companies deal with communication and corporate brand, and how communication is related to the strategy and performance of companies. The research has been an in-depth study of an organization that for a whole decade has carried out pioneering transformations in its communication and brand function and strategy. The BBVA Research Studies Department anticipated the impending economic crisis in 2006 and warned of the bank's need to take measures to strengthen its economic and financial situation. BBVA, therefore, put capitalisation and efficiency policies into effect with spectacular, if mixed results. From the financial point of view, the results were laudable. The bank has been able to face the crisis without resorting to external funding or bond issues, making it a shining exception in the banking industry. However, from the point of view of relations with stakeholders, the picture is less rosy Shareholders and investors underrated BBVA's achievements while relations with staff and customers worsened because the capitalisation and efficiency policies hurt their interests. Given this state of affairs, BBVA undertook a thorough re-organisation in two complementary spheres. First, it redefined corporate communication and brand functions. Second, it designed and implemented a new communication and brand strategy. This case study presents the empirical results of both processes of change. The researchers took an active part in drawing up and developing the project and thus have had a direct vision of the work carried out. In addition, they analysed the empirical aspects of the case within conceptual frameworks and current theoretical debates surrounding corporate communication and branding. Redefining communication and brand functions 1. The role of a Communication and Brand Director in the Management Committee It is generally thought that if a Communication Director sits on the Management Committee, it is merely to act as a glorified messenger to pass on the decisions taken to the rest of the company. With the redefinition of the function of communication within the BBVA organization, the Communication Director now takes an active role in Committee decisions and advises it on the repercussions its decisions could have on stakeholders. 2. The relationship between business strategy and communication strategy In typical business protocol, it is assumed that The Board decides the business strategy, which in turn filters down to shape departmental strategies, including that of communication. In the redefinition by BBVA, the Communication Director participates actively in the elaboration and implementation of corporate strategy being in the unique position of dealing directly with stakeholders and knowing their aspirations, demands and expectations (Cornelissen 2008, Chapter 3; van Riel and Fombrun 2007, Chapter 8). Page 20 of 111 3. The relationship between brand identity and brand image It is commonly believed that brand image, the perception that stakeholders have of the brand, is solely a reflection of the brand identity transmitted through the visual representation of the brand (i.e. logo, symbols, colours, etc), and through the communication and behaviour of the firm. The redefinition by BBVA involves a more integrated concept of brand identity as a tool for aligning a company's three key dimensions (Hatch and Schultz 2008): vision, image, and corporate culture. Design and implementation of a communication and brand strategy It should be stressed that the design and implementation of the new strategy was carried out internally by BBVA using narrative methods (Czarniawska 2004), which were organised in three stages covering the basic ideas of persuasive management (Jensen 2010), namely: interpreting the situation, creating meanings, and persuading stakeholders. In the first interpretative stage, the BBVA team, in collaboration with an
Idioma originalAnglès
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 24 de març 2011
Esdeveniment4th International Conference on Rhetoric and Narratives in Management Research, Barcelona 2011 -
Durada: 24 de març 201126 de març 2011


Conferència4th International Conference on Rhetoric and Narratives in Management Research, Barcelona 2011


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