Public Defence: Anna Alapeteri

Friday, October 12, 2018

Academic dissertation of Anna Alapeteri (marketing) is presented for public defence at the University of Oulu, Oulu Business School on Friday October 12, 2018 at 12.00 (noon) in Keckmanhall (HU106), in Linnanmaa Campus.

Topic: The effects of using English as a business lingua franca on spoken brand co-creation communication – a discursive approach

Academic dissertation


This study explores the phenomenon of brand co-creation from a communicative perspective. The study investigates how Finnish SMEs operating in international B2B markets use English as a business lingua franca (BELF) for brand communication. The purpose of the study is to contribute to brand co-creation theory by illustrating how using BELF affects spoken brand co-creation discourse and increase our understanding of brand co-creation communication by applying a discursive approach.

The theoretical framework of the study is based on branding literature, BELF research, discourse theory and social constructionism. The study introduces an analytical framework for exploring BELF in spoken brand co-creation communication through the discourse dimensions of verbal language use, the communication of brand meanings and face-to-face social interaction among stakeholders. The empirical data was collected by implementing a business communication simulation designed for the study. It was used to analyse how internal stakeholders use verbal BELF to communicate brand meanings in face-to-face social interaction. A discursive approach was also applied in the analysis.

In the study, three spoken brand co-creation discourses were identified: informative, credible and emotional discourse. This study shows that brand co-creation is a phenomenon intertwined with language. When the language of business communication is BELF, it can both enable and impede brand co-creation communication. Efficient and informative communication is often regarded as essential in business communication but from brand communication perspective informative communication may not be sufficient to create an interesting and a memorable brand. The study also shows that spoken brand co-creation communication with BELF requires versatile language and communication competence; especially emotional brand discourse may require more versatile BELF competence than previously has been acknowledged.

From a managerial viewpoint, it is important to understand that internal stakeholders are continuously communicating about the brand to external stakeholders with spoken language. Thus, the brand is visible in the daily operations through language, although not necessarily as intended by the management.

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Last updated: 30.10.2019