Prominent corporate heritage scholars from North America, New Zealand, France, Finland, Sweden and Great Britain attended the 4th International Symposium on Corporate Heritage in Helsinki in June. The symposium is the fourth to be organised by Professor John MT Balmer from Brunel Business School who established the event at Brunel University in 2011.
Hosted by Dr Anne Rindell and colleagues at the Department of Marketing, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland the symposium reflected the growing scholarly interest in this upcoming area of research which Brunel University has built an international reputation for.
Marketing faculty, members of the Centre for Research in Marketing (CREAM) in Brunel Business School presented papers at the event and included: Dr Michael Heller, Dr Weifeng Chen, Dr Christina Scandelius and Professor John Balmer.
In Professor Balmer’s keynote address, and drawing on his recent corporate heritage article in corporate communications, he detailed the historiography of corporate heritage including the co-creation of the concept with Professor Greyser of Harvard and Professor Urde of Lund University Sweden. Professor Balmer also detailed his theory of relative invariance as it applies to corporate heritage which emphasises that corporate heritage institutions embrace both continuity and change.
Other Brunel Business School presentations at the symposium included that by Dr Weifeng Chen and Professor Balmer which detailed initial insights regarding their work on international corporate heritage brands in relation to Dulwich College’s (the famous London public school) establishment of schools in China, Singapore and South Korea. Their research shows how corporate heritage can be a strategic asset in terms of internationalisation and also illustrated the significance of Professor Balmer’s notion of sensory corporate heritage and corporate heritage design in particular.
Dr Christina Scandelius’s presentation detailed how CSR orientated organisations can draw on their heritage, Dr Heller detailed the significance of London’s Museum of Brands and explained how narratives of the past can be contested and a former PhD student, Dr Berghausen also presented a paper alongside Professor Balmer on “repertoires of the past” which detailed the importance of concepts relating to the past including heritage.