Goulart Sztejnberg and GIovanardi 2017 OPEN.pdf (2.87 MB)
The ambiguity of place branding consultancy: working with stakeholders in Rio de Janeiro
journal contributionposted on 2017-07-12, 12:55 authored by Raquel Goulart Sztejnberg, Massimo Giovanardi
This study explores the tensions inherent in place branding consulting, by problematising the prescriptive and functionalistic view of consultants that characterises the place branding literature. If consultants’ pervasive impact on the contemporary place branding practice cannot be ignored, their fixed representation as powerful agents of top-down policies might limit more holistic accounts of consultancy practice. Indeed, consultants can find themselves mediating between bottom-up and top-down approaches to place branding. Thus, they can decide to promote more inclusive activities that give voice to local communities, while simultaneously addressing the needs of urban elites that are likely to pay the consultancy bill. Liminality is suggested as an appropriate idea to challenge role fixity and appreciate the ambiguity of place branding consultancy. The study reports self-reflective accounts from a case study on Rio de Janeiro, where the first author was involved in a three-year activity of working with stakeholders to stimulate a more inclusive public debate on city-brand management. Charting, snowballing, coopting consultants, informal advising, feeding and scientific arming are the six types of consulting practices of stakeholder engagement that the study identifies in order to offering a more nuanced representation of place brand consulting.
CitationJournal of Marketing Management, 2017, 33 (5-6), pp. 421-445
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Management
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)