UNHCR’s Self-Image: An Assessment of Its Corporate Identity and Corporate Image


Since companies and institutions in today's world not only market their product and services but also themselves; increasing attention is given to their identity and image. This paper tackles the dimensions of corporate identity based on Melewar's taxonomy in reference to the UNHCR bureau in Lebanon, and perceives the image of the organization on the basis of the Syrian refugee's estimations and testaments. By examining the proposed conceptual model, this study determines whether the perceived image of the organization is consistent with the UNHCR's framework and professed image. The research follows a qualitative approach which is supported by a semi-structured interview with UNHCR personnel and focus groups discussion conducted with Syrian refugees in North Lebanon. The findings of the study clearly show a dissonance between the corporate identity and corporate image of the UNHCR. The depicted results are as following: 1) the Syrians recognize the UNHCR as the leading organization in aiding the refugees throughout the crisis, as well as their recognition to other humanitarian organizations and partners with the same aims. 2) The Syrian Refugee Protection Plan (SRP) proposed is constructed putatively, that yielded the work of the organization on the grounds as inadequate. 3) The communication process adopted by the UNHCR is directed towards indirect stakeholders as citizens, host countries and donors and not towards their target audience, the refugees. As the research pointed to prove, UNHCRs self-image is manipulated through the corporate identity and through the corporate image of the organization.

Author Information
Josiane El Khoury, University of Balamand, Lebanon
Josephine Dairi, University of Balamand, Lebanon

Paper Information
Conference: IICAHDubai2016
Stream: Humanities - Immigration, Refugees, Race, Nation

This paper is part of the IICAHDubai2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon