Business Awards 2018

9 history of the organization. These findings show that corporate history can be interpreted and used in many different ways to inform and legitimise a company’s current desired identity, and strengthen the support of stakeholders. In the study, some members used aspects of company history that were enduring and traditional to appeal to established customers. Others drew out the elements of company history that had most contemporary relevance, regardless of how insignificant they might’ve been in the past, to inspire creative new product development. These two opposite approaches show how the facts of the past can be deployed to create the perceived organisational identity of the present, in different ways. Davide Ravasi, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, commented on the findings. ‘Our research uncovers that, whilst members of an organisation tend to respect the importance of their company’s history, they do not all interpret how ‘who we have been’ in the past is relevant to ‘who we are’ now, in the same way. The past, our findings indicate, is a reservoir of resources that companies can use in the present to inspire future action. Therefore, mining the history of your company and brand, and doing so with full reign of freedom of interpretation, can prove invaluable in informing the direction of branding and innovation today. The collections of corporate museums and archives – our findings show – support these efforts by serving as repositories of knowledge, sources of creative inspiration, and triggers of emotional and imaginative experiences.’ COMPANY HISTORY UNLOCKING FUTURE SUCCESS