The Effects of Viewing Corporate Symbols as Icons in the United States through an Assessment of Values

Julie C. Budden, The College of Wooster


This thesis is an exploratory attempt to examine the relationship between organizations with perceived "strong" corporate culture and not-as-strong corporate culture and individual perceptions of those corporations through a value context. By examining and combining organizational culture theory, symbolic interaction theory and current literature and theory on symbols, symbolism and advertising, a central hypothesis was created to examine if the "strong" corporate cultures were able to transmit these implicit notions to the wider cultural context through the symbols of that corporation. Two "strong" corporate cultures were tested against two not-as-strong-corporate cultures, both compatible in their respective industries. A survey method of analysis was conducted with a semantic differential scale being used to assess dichotomies of values in the corporations through the corporations symbols and/or logos. Results indicated that a stronger relationship did exist between the respondent's ideas of values toward the "strong" corporate cultures than toward the notas- strong corporate cultures. Future research is suggested, focusing on extending the sampling and measuring for variables such as sex, race, age and class. Additional emphasis may also be placed on the individual's interpretations rather than with a set group of adjectives in which to respond.


© Copyright 1990 Julie C. Budden