Multi-stakeholder perspective on the role of universities in place branding

Shalini Bisani*, Marcella Daye, Kathleen Mortimer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to create a conceptual framework to demonstrate the role of universities as a knowledge partner in place branding networks.
This research adopts a case study strategy to explore the perceptions of institutional and community stakeholders in Northamptonshire. The objective is to examine the regional activities and engagement of a single player university in a peripheral region and explore its potential for widening stakeholder participation. Qualitative data was collected through interviews and focus groups and thematically analysed.
The university played a complementary ‘partnership’ role to other institutional stakeholders, particularly the public sector. As a knowledge partner, the university filled gaps in information (know-what), skills (know-how) and networks (know-who). The last two aspects are potentially unique to the university’s role in place branding networks and require further development.
The conceptual framework demonstrates the potential of a single player university in a peripheral region to enhance the capabilities and skills of stakeholders in place branding networks and widen stakeholder participation. Future researchers can use the framework to develop recommendations for universities’ role in place branding based on their unique situation.
There has been limited research on how universities participate and influence participation in place branding. The exploration of this topic in the context of a rural, marginalised region is also novel.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)112-129
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Place Management and Development
Issue number2
Early online date9 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2022


  • United Kingdom
  • Place Branding
  • HEI (Higher Education Institutions)
  • Regional Development
  • Widening participation
  • University Stakeholder


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