The Dynamics of Corporate Brand Charisma: Routinization and Activation at Carlsberg IT

Mary Jo Hatch, Majken Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article describes how Carlsberg Group's IT unit (CIT) made use of Carlsberg's corporate brand to develop its identity following centralization and downsizing of the IT function. Our observations suggested using the concept of brand charisma and thereafter we framed our analysis with Weber's theory of the routinization of charisma. The study took place in the relatively unusual context of a truncated rollout of a formal corporate branding program, which allowed us to study the processes by which brand charisma was routinized. Findings indicate the important intermediary role played by middle managers who selected and systematized the set of brand beliefs taken up within the CIT project, and how employees accommodated these beliefs to their everyday work life. Accommodation was found to take place within four subdomains of activity: subculture, communication, technology, and hierarchical control. A key finding is that, through their reception and activation of brand charisma, the CIT employees contributed greatly to the endowment of charisma their brand carried. A revised Weberian model of the dynamic relationships between the routinization of charisma and its reception and activation constitutes our contribution to corporate branding theory. The article also offers empirical evidence in support of extending Weberian scholarship further into the field of brand management.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Management
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)147-162
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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