PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to aid the convergence of design and management as a strategic lever and innovative tool to improve corporate reputation in higher education institutions (HEIs), particularly in the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal (IPB).Design/methodology/approachSWOT analysis is used to identify strengths and weaknesses in the context of an organization’s internal competencies (identity) and opportunities and threats in an analysis of the organization’s external competitive context (image). Quantitative analysis was used based on questionnaires conducted with IPB community to analyse if differences exist between identity (staff) and image (students) and where there are design structures (website, visual identity, advertising and environment. Corporate character scale developed by Davies et al. (2003, 2004) was used.FindingsWith the SWOT analysis, it is possible to outline IPB performance strategies that meet a positive reputation. A positive corporate reputation was found in IPB with the study of corporate character scale. It has been realized where there are differences from the point of view of identity and image, and thus, it is possible to indicate ideas of improvement to increase the competitiveness of HEIs.Research limitations/implicationsThe study is restricted to five schools of IPB. It would also be pertinent to broaden the scope of the stakeholders, encompassing the external community of the IPB that is extending the study to the external public, such as parents, companies, suppliers and secondary students.Practical implicationsHEI competitiveness implies student recruitment and public policies. A positive reputation implies a positive brand image. Design competencies of the public higher education sector can go much further acting at the strategic level, establishing its directives of action in the markets where it operates to reflect its corporate reputation in a positive way in the mind of the consumer. Intangible assets such as identity, image and corporate reputation, appear as very valuable elements, presenting an increasing importance in the management of universities that entered a market context where sustainability requires the adoption of more entrepreneurial management guidelines.Originality valueThe paper is useful for the professionals and academics in perceiving the importance of use management and strategical tools to identify HEI communication and reputation difficulties for a thorough design thinking that delineates solutions that leverage the competitiveness of service organizations such as HEIs.
Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global Competitiveness – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 15, 2018
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