This thesis aims to extend the current knowledge about corporate image formation process by developing a comprehensive model which incorporates corporate identity mix elements (i.e. symbolism, communication, and behaviour) and unplanned communication factors (i.e. interpersonal, intermediary and intrapersonal communication). By examining the proposed conceptual model, this study challenges the claims of anything a company does communicate its identity (Balmer, 1997, 2001; Van Riel and Balmer, 1997) by testing the impact of company-driven communication efforts on corporate image formation in the consumer context. It also adopts the understanding of corporate image as a composite product of multiple communication factors (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2003; Cornelissen, 2000) and in addition to formal communication efforts it specifically tests the role of interpersonal communication, intermediary communication and intrapersonal communication factors in corporate image formation (Cornelissen, 2000).\ud \ud This research adopts a predominantly quantitative approach which is supported by insights from an exploratory phase that encompasses in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The main survey data is derived from a cross-sectional survey which is conducted in Turkey. The data drawn from 439 questionnaires is analysed by multivariate data analysis technique including exploratory factor analysis (EFA), Cronbach alpha, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM).\ud \ud The findings show that not every aspect of corporate identity mix elements (e.g. corporate aesthetics, staff apparel) is considered to be salient communicators of corporate identity by consumers. They also indicate that when consumers attribute positive feelings to a company’s corporate visual identity systems, when they think that marketing communication activities reflect corporate values, and when they perceive a company as socially responsible, they tend to form a favourable image of that organisation. Moreover, the results highlight that interpersonal communication (word-of-mouth information exchange among close friends and relatives) and intrapersonal factors (i.e. corporate associations gap, consumer-company identification, emotional appeal, consumer-company value congruence) are determinants of corporate image formation. However, it is found that employee behaviour and intermediary communication may not activate immediate associations about corporate image
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