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THE IMPACT OF CORPORATE IMAGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY ON THE PERFORMANCE OF BUSINESSES IN CAMEROON

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THE IMPACT OF CORPORATE IMAGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY ON THE PERFORMANCE OF BUSINESSES IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Modern businesses have no choice but to manage their corporate image, as doing so is crucial to their continued existence. The ability of an organisation to maintain a consistent corporate image is critical to its operations (Kircova, 2018). Corporate image management is of the utmost importance due to its potential to generate value and sustain long-term organisational performance, as well as its intangible nature that significantly hinders competitors from duplicating it (Bronn, 2018). An optimal corporate image is established when the perception of the institution by its target audience aligns with the organization's self-perception.

Veronika & Darina (2020) assert that business image and brand equity are strongly interconnected. Corporate image is typically regarded as a valuable resource that enables an organisation to distinguish itself with the goal of maximising market share, profits, customer attraction and retention, countering competitors' actions, and ultimately ensuring success and survival in the market. According to Veronika & Darina (2020), if an organization's portrayed identity does not align with the picture perceived by the public, it can harm the organization's reputation, corporate image, and overall management. Public relations practitioners also have a crucial role in constructing the public perception of an organization's corporate image. Moreover, these jobs also have a tendency to contribute to the growth, longevity, and efficient operation of the organisation.

Image management is a practice that should be integrated into the strategic preferences of the business organization's foundation and structured in accordance with the managerial entities of the organisation, including marketing, human resources, finance, and production (Massey, 2019). Conversely, Abdulmalik (2020) asserts that businesses are perpetually perceived as endeavours to generate economic value for their investors. On the contrary, Ishola (2020) argues that in addition to economic value and social concerns such as environmental conservation and life quality, these factors are progressively gaining significance for organisations. Consequently, it is imperative that businesses allocate priority to corporate image management across all departments.

On the other hand, organizational performance assesses the collective performance of every division and business element within an organization. This suggests that the performance of an entity is determined by summing the performances of its subunits and subcomponents. To attain the desired outcomes, performance-oriented management is concerned with the development of every component of the diverse organizational processes (Ologbenla, 2021).

It is not surprising that contemporary organisations are concerned with preserving their corporate image. This finding illustrates the significant correlation between attitudes towards corporations and pro-corporate supporting behaviour. Research has shown that the management of organisational image significantly influences the overall performance of a company (Edu, 2018). The significance of maintaining a positive corporate image has led to a lot of research on the subject of organizational image management in other countries around the globe, but there is a dearth of researches carried out in this discourse in Cameroon hence the need for this study.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Historically, the business industry in Cameroon has been significantly under-researched in terms of sustainable image marketing and management, mainly due to a prevalence of research efforts focused on other nations (Abdulmalik, 2020).

The contemporary business landscape is characterised by globalisation, intense competition leading to excessive regulation, standardisation, rapid technological progress, unpredictable customer behaviour influenced by an unstable economy, and the advantages of operating at a large scale.

These difficulties are intricately linked to the control of a business identity and image. Consequently, the business sector is experiencing ongoing and constant change. The ongoing alterations may lead to intense competition among businesses in Cameroon and perhaps harm the companies' reputations (Abdulmalik, 2020). The business sector may experience setbacks as a result of inconsistent performance in the loan portfolio, profitability, returns on equity, and returns on assets, which could adversely affect the overall performance of the industry. It is against this backdrop that this study will be investigating the impact of corporate image management strategy on the performance of businesses in Cameroon.

1.3 Objectives of the study  

The general objective of this study is to investigate the impact of corporate image management strategy on the performance of businesses in Cameroon. The specific objectives include the following:

To find out whether there is a relationship between corporate image management strategy and the performance of businesses in Cameroon.

To examine ways corporate image management strategy impacts on the performance of businesses in Cameroon.

To assess the challenges of corporate image management strategy on businesses in Cameroon.

To proffer solutions to the challenges of corporate image management strategy on businesses in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The relevant research questions related to this study include the following:

Is there a relationship between corporate image management strategy and the performance of businesses in Cameroon?

What are the ways corporate image management strategy impacts on the performance of businesses in Cameroon?

What are the challenges of corporate image management strategy on businesses in Cameroon?

What are the solutions to the challenges of corporate image management strategy on businesses in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The enterprises in Cameroon have consistently operated below their full potential, causing significant concern. This is particularly worrisome because the sector is a major source of employment and income for a large number of people. The issue of underperformance has primarily been ascribed to inadequate management within the sector. Several companies in the industry have been perceived as underperforming over an extended duration. This study will aid the stakeholders of the companies, such as company management and the government, in improving the corporate reputation of their respective companies.

The findings will aid firm management in identifying the strengths and limitations of their enterprises or organisations, as well as in cultivating good and aggressive images with their regional and worldwide clients. The findings will also aid firms in their economic development and in effectively maintaining and delighting their staff.

This study serves as an empirical basis for corporate image management methods and their impact on the performance of firms in Cameroon. As an academic study, it contributes to the existing body of literature on the impact of corporate image management methods on company performance. Therefore, future researchers studying corporate management and its connection to the business sector can utilise this study.

1.6 Scope of the study

Generally, this study focuses on the impact of corporate image management strategy on the performance of businesses in Cameroon. Empirically, this study focuses on finding out whether there is a relationship between corporate image management strategy and the performance of businesses, examining ways corporate image management strategy impacts on the performance of businesses, assessing the challenges of corporate image management strategy on businesses and proffering solutions to the challenges of corporate image management strategy on businesses.

This study will be carried out in Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation of the study

The researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that impact of corporate image management strategy on the performance of businesses discourse is vast thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only residents of Cameroon. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other regions within Cameroon. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.

1.8 Definition of terms

Corporate image: A corporate identity or corporate image is the manner in which a corporation, firm or business enterprise presents itself to the public. The corporate identity is typically visualized by branding and with the use of trademarks, but it can also include things like product design, advertising, public relations etc.

Impact: A marked effect or influence.

Organizational Performance: In today's workforce, organizational performance can be defined as a company's ability to achieve goals in a state of constant change.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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