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Art for art's sake? An exploratory study of the possibility to align works of art with an organization's identity.

Some companies invest large amounts of money in corporate art collections. One of the reasons for this investment may be that works of art can be used to communicate corporate identity. The aim of this study was to explore whether people are able to align a work of art with a given corporate identity. Forty-six participants rated the fit of eight works of art with four different corporate identities of existing companies. The results showed that participants agree strongly with respect to whether a work of art was aligned with a specific identity. That works of art can be recognized as aligned with a company's identity has important implications for companies that use reproductions of works of art to decorate their walls insofar as customers may take the art as a symbol of the company's identity.

Keywords: corporate image; corporate identity; corporate art collections; corporate social responsibility; corporate communication

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On January 17, 2002, the Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant carried a front-page story stating that as a result of its disastrous financial situation, the Dutch telecommunication company KPN Telecom had decided to stop acquiring works of art for its art collection and fire 8 of the 10 staff members responsible for the conservation of the art collection ("Bezuinigingen KPN," 2002). In the months prior to this article, KPN Telecom had decided on the largest round of layoffs in the Netherlands for the past 20 years. The fact that the company had reduced the costs for its art collection, deciding not to expand instead of selling the collection, showed the importance the company attached to keeping its collection. Other figures show that KPN Telecom is not the only Dutch company with an interest in art. In 1998, companies were responsible for 20% of sales on the Dutch art market. In the newspaper article about the matter, art dealers were quoted as saying that approximately half of their sales were made to companies.

The newspaper article about the event raises an interesting question: Why would companies that try to maximize their profits and minimize their expenses spend large amounts of money on the collection and preservation of works of art? The next section of this article presents several reasons why companies might purchase art. The discussion about why companies might acquire artwork raises another important question about the extent to which art could be aligned with a company's identity. Following this discussion, the article reports on a study that sought to address the latter question.

POSSIBLE REASONS WHY COMPANIES BUY ART

We maintain that a company's interest in buying art could be explained by reference to the concept of corporate social responsibility and the need for a positive image. Corporate social responsibility refers to the concept that "business has an obligation to society that extends beyond its narrow obligation to its owners or shareholders" (Carrel I, 1997, p. 593). Carroll (1999) identified four components of corporate social responsibility: (a) economic (i.e., the business's responsibility to make a profit), (b) legal (i.e., the business's duty to obey the law), (c) ethical (i.e., the business's responsibility to respect the rights of others and to meet the obligations placed on them by society that ensure these rights), and (d) philanthropic (i.e., activities that support the broader community). Maignan (2001) shows that consumers distinguish these same four components but that they regard the economic component as fundamentally different four the legal, ethical, and philanthropic components.

Philanthropic social responsibility can take several forms. In two studies, corporate Web sites have been analyzed with respect to what companies disclose about the corporate social responsibility activities they carry out (Maignan & Ralston, 2002: Snider, Hill & Marlin, 2003). In both investigations, investing in arts and culture was found to be one of the issues mentioned by these companies as a form of corporate philanthropy. Collecting art can be considered fulfilling a company's social responsibility in several ways. First, a company can play the role of a contemporary Maecenas. It can assist young artists in developing their careers by buying their art. In this way, companies increase a society's cultural richness. Second, a company may provide the society with an opportunity to enjoy these works of art. Several companies organize exhibitions or lend parts of their collections to museum. In this way, people can enjoy these works, which might otherwise have fallen in the hands of private owners or never even have been created.

Corporate philanthropic activities such as these can be regarded as the business equivalent of noblesse oblige. However, it is possible that companies employ these activities to further their own (economic) goals, aptly phrased by Seifert, Morris, and Bartkus (2003, p. 196) as "doing good in order to do well." Evidence for a relation between displaying corporate philanthropic activities and corporate financial success is mixed. Seifert et al. report neither a negative nor a positive effect of corporate philanthropy when comparing the financial success of pairs of companies that were similar except for the extent to which they had spent money on philanthropic activities. Simpson and Kohers (2002), on the other hand, report a positive relation between social responsibility activities and financial success when analyzing a sample of companies from the banking industry. Maignan (2001) reported that consumers in her survey indicated a higher willingness to buy products from responsible companies. The question raised then is how philanthropic activities can enhance a company's success. Improvement of the company's image has been suggested as the answer to this question.

Hooghiemstra (2000) has pointed out that reporting on a company's social responsibility activities can be regarded as a form of corporate communication that aims at improving the company's public image. Companies with a positive image are more successful in attracting consumers, shareholders, and talented employees (Argenti, 1998: Argenti & Forman, 2002). Especially in markets where products of different competitors are functionally equivalent, a positive image may provide an important competitive advantage. As a result, companies often attempt to create a positive image.

Birkigt and Stadler (1986) developed a model for the factors that influence a company's image that has proven influential in theorizing about corporate identity and image (see, e.g., van Riel, 1995). Birkigt and Stadler define a company's image as the perception of the company's identity by the different target groups. The identity consists of four components: personality, communication, behavior, and symbolism. The personality component constitutes the core of a company's identity. It represents the values that are considered to be important by the company. As with a person, this personality cannot be assessed directly. We learn about people's personality (and their values) by what they tell us about themselves (communication), the way they act (behavior), and the way they dress (symbolism). A company's image is construed by people in a similar way. People infer which values are important to a company by taking its (corporate) communication into account (e.g., when a company boasts about the reliability of its products), but also by the way it acts (e.g., how it responds to complaints) and the symbols it uses (e.g., its logo or the architecture of its head office).

What a company communicates about itself, the way it acts, and the symbols it chooses to represent its personality are some of the instruments used to achieve a positive image. However, a company cannot control or orchestrate the perception of its identity completely. Other factors may also affect the perception of identity. One such factor, for instance, is publicity. Renkema and Hoeken (1998) showed that negative newspaper publicity had a strong and lasting negative effect on a company's image. Therefore, in research on business communication, several studies have been conducted about ways in which companies could use communication to safeguard their images, especially in crisis situations (Benoit & Czerwinsi, 1997: Cowden & Sellnow, 2002: Stevens, 1999: Tyler, 1992).

To our knowledge, no research has been conducted on the question of how a company's art collection could be used to influence a company's image. There appear to be at least two options. First, collecting art could be considered as a type of behavior through which the company can express the importance it attaches to values such as beauty and refinement. It can be used to project the image of a civilized, sophisticated, art-loving company. In this case, the specific works of art that are part of a company's collection are less important than the fact that it has a collection. The opposite holds true for the second way in which an art collection could be used to influence the company's image. There are art consultants who claim that (a collection of) works of art could be used to express a company's core values. Consider the following fragment found on a Web site from such a company (translated into English):
   Art underscores the image of your company or organization.
   Especially when the different works of art display a correlation
   and are in accordance with the core values of your company.
   Therefore, ArtOlive pays much attention to putting together a
   coherent and well-cared-for art collection. ArtOlive possesses a
   very large art collection and therefore we are able to offer you a
   customized proposal in actor dance with your wishes, (the image, or
   culture of) your organization, and the office space in your
   building. (www.artolive.com)


If art is used in the latter way to improve a company's image, then the issues about who is the artist and what the work of art represents become relevant. Perhaps companies holding more traditional values might chose more figurative works of art from reputable artists, whereas companies that are more trendy and modern may prefer more abstract works, perhaps from less well-known artists. In this way, works of art are used as symbols of the company's identity. (1)

The idea that a company's core values can be represented in a visual way is not new. In fact, Argenti (1998) defines identity as "the visual manifestation of the company's reality as seen in the company logo, its building, its stationery, and even in employees' uniforms" (p. 56). In particular, the use of a company's logo to represent a company's core values has attracted much attention. Jenkins (1991), for instance, has written a monograph with the telling subtitle "Visualising the Corporate Message." He discusses the way in which the visualization of a name, the logotype, the symbol, color, and so forth can be used to create a fitting visual identity. Argenti and Forman (2002) note that symbols such as logos "constitute a powerful dimension of the identity picture. The visual manifestations receive an inordinate amount of attention because of our increasing focus on the visual" (p. 78). A similar position is taken by Olins (1989), who claims that it is primarily visual elements that can increase short-term attachment to an organization. Claims such as these have given rise to empirical research on the factors that contribute to the appreciation of a logo (Garber & Hyatt, 2003: Pimentel & Heckler, 2003).

However, there is a clear difference between using a logo to represent a company's personality and using a work of art to do so. The designer of a logo takes the company's values as his or her input and purposely tries to tailor the logo exactly to these values. Such an approach does not hold for the artist creating a work of art. When painting one of his famous Sunflowers in the late 19th century, Vincent van Gogh did not take into account the core values of the Japanese Marine and Fire Insurance Company that some hundred years later paid $39.9 million to own it. Therefore, the chances that a work of art matches a company's core values as tightly as a logo are slim. Furthermore, given that a work of art is almost multi-interpretable by definition, it is an interesting question whether a work of art can communicate a company's values clearly.

Thus far, we have hypothesized about the reasons for companies to collect art. The only study in which companies were asked for their reasons for collecting art is reported in Hoeken and Kuijpers (2002). In this small-scale study, interviews were conducted with representatives of seven Dutch companies that own corporate art collections. The representatives were responsible for the various art collections. In two cases, a person from the communication department was interviewed as well. Four of the companies operated in the financial services sector (insurance companies, banks). The other three were a chemical industry company, a photocopier company, and a real estate development company. Three of the seven companies have collections that are among the top 10 of largest corporate collections in the Netherlands.

According to the majority of companies in the study, the corporate art collection performs more functions than simply decorating the wails of a company. Some of these functions are aimed at the internal audience of employees. Art is used to motivate employees, provoke them, and broaden their horizons. To that end, some companies chose to let a special committee select which works of art should be bought. One company even regarded the appreciation and tolerance for the type of art chosen its a test of an employee's suitability. Most companies seemed to regard their interest in art as a sign of taking social responsibility seriously. Five companies explicitly stated social responsibility its a reason for collecting art. The way in which they formulate this reason differs from "a clear signal of being interested and involved in the community," "improving one's societal position," "striking a balance between the interests of society and the company," or even collecting art to become a Borgia: "The management of this company would like to go down in history as a Maecenas and become immortal in this way."

None of the informants indicated that collecting art was used to evoke the image of a civilized, art-loving company. The chances that they would say so were probably slim. Anyone stating that collecting art is their way to evoke the image of an art-loving company might give the impression of a company that is not intrinsically interested in art. (2) Nevertheless, one of the company representatives stated that the "collection is not meant to communicate corporate identity. It rather is a part of the corporate identity; art is the message itself. It is to be considered a personality characteristic.'" In the perspective of this spokesperson, collecting art is a type of behavior that provides a signal about the company's identity.

None of the company representatives indicated that the works of art in a company's collection should be used to communicate the corporate identity. Indeed, many regarded such an opinion as dangerous to the autonomy of a work of art. One of the company representatives stated that the pieces in the art collection more or less contradicted their preferred image. As an insurance company, they wanted to be regarded as solid and reliable, whereas their art collection consists mainly of risky, modern, three-dimensional work. Although all companies in the study noted that their desired identity was in no way used to select works of art, one of the representatives said (at a later stage in the interview) that it was taken into account. This particular company commissions artwork that is sometimes used as business gifts. The company explains its core values to the artist. It expects these artists to take these values into account when they make this work of art.

Apparently, there are people who believe that works of art can represent the core values of a company. Furthermore, although the other representatives stated that works of art should not be used to represent the company's identity, they do not say that it is impossible. Whether works of art can be used to represent and communicate a company's identity is the central question of this study.

RESEARCH QUESTION

Research on logo design suggests that visual representations are capable of communicating a company's core values. Although these logos are designed specifically to represent a company's identity, making them different from a work of art, it is also clear that some companies believe that art can also be used to represent a company's identity. This belief rests on the assumption that people are capable of identifying whether works of art align with a specific identity. To learn more, an experiment was conducted to assess the validity of this assumption. The research question posed for study was To what extent do works of art align with a company's identity?

METHOD

Overview

First, the researchers assessed the corporate identity of a number of companies. Next, for each identity works of art were selected that were either supposed to be aligned or not aligned with the company's identity, or unrelated to this identity. Study participants were asked to indicate the extent to which they felt that a certain work of art was in accordance with a certain identity.

Selection of Corporate Identities

A positive and distinctive image is an especially valuable asset in a market in which it is difficult for a company to distinguish itself from its competitors by its products. Financial institutions such as banks face these kinds of problems. They provide similar services (such as credit cards and savings accounts) at similar rates. Therefore, a positive image can be a powerful instrument in the battle to win clients. Furthermore, of the 10 companies with the largest art collections in the Netherlands. 5 of them were banks.

Five banks were willing to take part in the study. For each bank, a corporate identity was formulated, either by the communication department of the bank itself or by the researchers, who relied on official information on the banks' Web sites. In the latter case, the identity was presented to the communication department of the bank for official approval. Each identity is therefore an officially sanctioned description of the bank's identity. Table 1 contains abbreviated descriptions of these identities.

Selection of Works of Art

For each corporate identity, works of art were selected with the help of an associate professor in art history. We wanted to select works of art that were either in accordance or in disagreement with the values expressed in the corporate identity. Only two-dimensional works of art (paintings, photographs) were selected because we wanted to be able to present the works of art to the participants in the main experiment on a computer screen (which is difficult when using three-dimensional works of art).

For each identity, three, four, or five works ,of art were selected that either represented some of the values of the corporate identity or contradicted these values. For instance, for the bank wishing to express a sparkling and colorful identity, works of Delaunay (Circular forms) and Miro (Singing Fish) were selected as being aligned with this identity, whereas Duplock's Serenity and an untitled 1963 work by Rothko were selected as opposing this identity. For the private bank with the classical aura, works of art were selected that either depicted royal or high society scenes (L'Herminez's Party) or more down-to-earth paintings of common people (Wetzels's Shopping on the Albert Cuyp). Appendix 1 contains the complete selection of works of art.

In a qualitative follow-up study, 6 participants (3 men and 3 women, all students, aged between 22 and 24 years) evaluated the extent to which each work of art aligned with each corporate identity. For each work of art, they were asked to indicate whether they thought it was in keeping with the identity, in opposition to the identity, or unrelated to the identity. Next, they were asked to explain their opinions. In this way, we assessed whether the reasoning by experts that had led to this selection of works of art was shared by participants not involved in the research. Each interview took approximately 1 hr.

With the exception of one instance, it proved possible to select a work of art for each identity that was aligned with all participants. The selected works of art were considered unrelated to the other corporate identities. The exception was the corporate identity of Bank 2. The participants found it hard to reconcile this particular bank's values as sound and flexible. Accordingly, they regarded many works of art as aligned (although not strongly) with this identity. Therefore, this identity was left out of the main experiment. As a result, four corporate identities and eight works of art were included in the main experiment. Each work of art was considered aligned with one of the identities and unrelated to the other three identities, or it was considered not aligned with one of the identities and unrelated to the other three identities.

Participants

A total of 46 participants took part in the experiment. All participants were students. Students form an important target audience for banks in The Netherlands. When starting their study, many students need to open an account to receive their grant from the government. For most of them, this is the bank they will stick with for the rest of their lives (partly because changing an account from one bank to another is quite a cumbersome affair). Given that students stand a better chance of ending up in better paid jobs, they are attractive customers for banks from a long-term perspective. Therefore, banks are willing to loose money (or make less profit) on student accounts, as evidenced by reduced interest rates for being in the red and free credit card facilities. The number of female participants outnumbered the number of male participants (75.6% vs. 24.4%). The participants were relatively young (23 years on average).

Instrumentation

A Web site was constructed to conduct the experiment. In the first part of the experiment, participants were confronted with images of the eight works of art selected in the pretest. An image was presented on the left side of the screen, with the four corporate identities shown on the right side of the screen. Participants were instructed to indicate the extent to which they believed the image fit the description of the corporate identity on a scale of 1 to 5. The scale options were labeled as follows: "Completely contradicts the description," "Somewhat contradicts the description," "Has nothing to do with the description," "Fits the description somewhat," and "Fits the description completely." Participants rated each image separately for the four corporate identities. The order in which the images of the works of art were presented was always the same, whereas there were four different orders in which the descriptions of the corporate identities were presented.

In the second part of the experiment, participants were asked to order the different works of art and the different corporate identities from most to least appealing. To this end, the works of art and corporate identities were presented again, and the participants ranked the different works of art and the different identities. This task was included to check whether participants used rather simple rules of thumb, such as the most appealing work of art fits the most appealing corporate identity and the least appealing work of art fits the least appealing corporate identity.

In the third part of the experiment, participants were asked whether they had an idea which corporate identity belonged to which bank. This was an open question; no options with respect to banks were given. They were also asked to indicate their age, sex, and major. Finally, they were asked at which bank or banks they had personal accounts.

Procedure

The participants received an e-mail in which they were requested to visit the Web site containing the experiment. Included in the e-mail were instructions as to which of the four versions of the experiment they had to choose from. These versions differed only with respect to the ranking of the corporate identities. On the opening page of the Web site, participants could choose between the four versions. They were then transferred to the version of the experiment they selected. After completing the experiment, the participants clicked on a button to send the data they had generated. They were then transferred to a Web page that contained the message that the data had been successfully transferred, and they were thanked for their cooperation.

RESULTS

For each corporate identity, the average fit score was computed for (a) the work of art that had been identified as aligned with the identity in the pretest (aligned), (b) the six remaining works of art that were considered irrelevant to this specific corporate identity (irrelevant), and (c) the work of art that had been identified as inappropriate in the pretest (not aligned). Table 2 contains the mean scores that fit the different works of art and the four corporate identities.

A 3 (alignment of work of art) x 4 (corporate identity) analysis of variance was conducted. A highly significant main effect of alignment was obtained, F(2, 44) = 167.83, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .88. Post hoc (Bonferroni) comparisons revealed that the works of art that had been identified as aligned in the pretest were considered more fitting (M = 4.12) than the irrelevant works of art (M = 2.90), which in turn were considered more fitting than the not aligned works of art (M = 2.31). There was also a main effect of identity, F(3, 43) = 3.07, p < .05, [[eta].sup.2] = .18. Post hoc comparisons revealed that this main effect was the result of the fact that all works of art, regardless of their level of alignment, were considered more fitting for the corporate identity of Bank 1 (M = 3.30) than for the corporate identity of Bank 2 (M = 2.96). Finally, a significant interaction between alignment of the work of art and the corporate identity did arise, F(6, 40) = 5.18, p < .01, [[eta].sup.2] = .44. This interaction was the result of the fact that for Banks 2 to 4, the not aligned work of art was considered significantly less fitting than the irrelevant works of art, whereas for Bank 1, no significant difference between the not aligned and irrelevant works of art was found.

To rule out the possibility that the effect of the alignment factor is the result of participants considering more appealing works of art as more tilting for more appealing corporate identities, correlations were computed for each corporate identity between the extent to which the identity was considered appealing and the extent to which the aligned and not aligned works of art were considered appealing. No significant correlations did arise for any of the identities and works of art (r's ranging from--.04 to .21, ps > .15). Finally, few participants succeeded in correctly identifying the bank that had provided the corporate identity. The percentages of correct identifications ranged from 6.5% (Banks 1 and 4) through 13.0% (Bank 3) to 30.4% (Bank 2). But even for Bank 2, a majority of the respondents (37.0%) thought that the corporate identity belonged to another bank (whose identity was not included in the experiment).

DISCUSSION

This experiment was conducted to address the question of to what extent works of art can align with a company's identity. Apparently, works of art can align with such identities significantly. There was a very large effect of the work of art's alignment on the perceived fit for the corporate identity (approximately 90% of the variation in the scores on the fit scale could be attributed to the alignment category of the work of art). Works of art that were considered aligned scored on the positive side of the fit scale and works that were considered not aligned scored on the negative side, whereas works of art that were considered irrelevant scored at the neutral, midway point of that scale. Further analyses showed that these effects were not the result of participants simply relating more appealing works of art to more appealing corporate identities.

That works of art can be reliably identified as being either in agreement or in disagreement with a company's corporate identity may have far-reaching consequences for many companies, paradoxically--especially for those that do not own a corporate art collection themselves. In many companies, the walls of the rooms in which (potential) customers wait or meet staff are decorated with paintings or reproductions of paintings. These decorations are probably chosen for their aesthetic appeal, but they may also be interpreted by these waiting customers as a token of the company's core values. Especially in the case of a reproduction, customers might assume that the company's choice of these specific works of art is deliberate, given the large collection a company has from which to choose. A company buying original work is much more confined by the works and prices available in the market. In such cases, the act of buying art may indeed be more important for the company's identity than the specific work of art bought.

Companies owning corporate art collections regard these collections as visible tokens of their social involvement and responsibility. The fact that they collect works of art is more important than the values represented in these works. From a corporate identity perspective, this implies that collecting art is related to the company's behavior. The symbolic function of specific works of art does not enter the equation. The results of our experiment show quite clearly that people are able to relate works of art to a specific corporate identity. Therefore, works of art can function as symbols of the company's personality. The implications of this result should not be underestimated. Companies often spend large amounts of money to develop corporate logos, uniforms, and buildings that symbolize their corporate identities. Much less thought appears to be spent on their wall decorations. The results of this study call into question the wisdom of such an approach.

Like all research, this study has some limitations. The participants were all students and as such, younger, better educated, and perhaps with greater interest in art than the general population. Replicating this study with a more heterogeneous sample would be wise. We have argued in the Participants section, however, that students are an important target group for banks in The Netherlands. As such, using a sample of students may limit the extent to which these results can be generalized but nevertheless constitute an ecological valid sample. Furthermore, only a limited number of works of art were employed, together with only a limited number of real corporate identities. To assess the generality of the effect, a similar study using more and other works of art, as well as more and other corporate identities, should be undertaken. Nevertheless, given the strength of the effect in this study, we are quite confident that similar effects will be obtained under such conditions.

Another limitation of this study lies in the fact that participants received a description of each corporate identity. The work of art may have evoked meanings and values other than the ones included in the description of the corporate identity. The design of the study did prevent them from taking these meanings and values into account. It would be interesting to study what kind of identity participants would come up with when presented with a work of art and asked to describe how they perceive the personality of the company that owns it. This situation would resemble more the situation in which potential customers infer a company's identity from the paintings on the wall. This type of research could be extended by presenting to participants several works of art owned by a company. In this way, it could be assessed whether art collections are capable of communicating a company's identity.

Despite these limitations, we believe that the research presented in this article is an important first step to study the relationship between works of art and corporate communication. Such a study rests on the assumption that works of art can be interpreted in terms of corporate identities. We believe we have shown convincingly that this assumption is warranted.
APPENDIX

Works of Art Selected for the Main Experiment

Bank 1:   Appropriate: Marjolein Kruit, Waterval (Waterfall)
          Inappropriate: Wietze Dorsman, Benzinevaten (Petrol barrels)
Bank 2:   Appropriate: H. Leung, San Francisco at Night
          Inappropriate: Hans Eijkenboom, Holland
Bank 3:   Appropriate: Robert Delauney, Circular Forms
          Inappropriate: Mark Rothko, untitled, 1963
Bank 4:   Appropriate: Theo L'Herminez, Party
          Inappropriate: Peter Wetzels, Shoppen op de Albert Cuyp
          (Shopping on the Albert Cuyp)

Table 1. Officially Approved Corporate Identities of 5 Banks

Bank 1   Bank 1 wants to advance society's durability. It seeks to end
         processes that have harmful consequences for the environment,
         nature, and poor communities. It tries to create a better
         balance between ecological, societal, and economical
         interests.

Bank 2   Bank 2 is a sound, direct, and forward-looking professional
         organization that aims to meet each clients wishes through
         applying flexible forces and an eye for detail.

Bank 3   Bank 3 is a leading international, customer-oriented,
         cost-efficient financial services organization that provides
         services to its customers through the distribution channel
         of their choice.

Bank 4   Bank 4 is a sparkling, colorful, and inspiring bank that
         provides its customers with an illuminating view of how they
         can realize their ambitions.

Bank 5   Bank 5 is a private bank with a classical aura that targets
         well-to-do individuals and business people. It focuses on
         personal attention and the wishes and potential of its
         customers.

Table 2. Mean Scores That Fit the Works of Art as a Function
of the Level of Alignment of the Work of Art and the
Corporate Identity

           Aligned       Irrelevant    Not Aligned

Bank 1   4.57 (0.62)    2.84 (0.46)    2.50 (1.55)
Bank 2   3.76 (0.82)    2.96 (0.36)    2.15 (1.07)
Bank 3   4.09 (0.78)    2.84 (0.47)    2.17 (1.23)
Bank 4   4.07 (0.95)    2.94 (0.36)    2.41 (1.34)

NOTE: 1 = completely contradicts, 3 = irrelevant, 5 = completely fits.


NOTES

(1.) One of the reviewers pointed out that works of art could be used strategically the other way around: A trendy company wishing to appear substantive and therefore collecting more "classical" art or a more traditional company trying to appear flexible through displaying more modern art.

(2.) For this same reason, the informants may not have come up with the reasons for collecting art that one of the reviewers suggested: displaying their wealth or as an investment.

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Hans Hoeken (Ph.D., University of Tilburg, 1995) is a professor in the Department of Business Communication Studies, Center for Language Studies, at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Lenneke Ruikes (M.A., Radboud University Nijmegen, 2003) is a graduate of Business Communication Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen. The authors wish to thank Stine Jensen for helping in the selection of appropriate works of art and Catherine Nickerson, the two anonymous reviewers, the associate editor, and the editor for their comments on an earlier version of this article. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Hans Hoeken, Department of Business Communication Studies, Radboud University of Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9103, NL 6500 HD Netherlands; e-mail: h.hoeken@let.ru.nl
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Author:Hoeken, Hans; Ruikes, Lenneke
Publication:The Journal of Business Communication
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2005
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