Combining participatory action research with sociological intervention to investigate participatory place branding

Laura Ripoll Gonzalez*, Fred Gale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Place branding research has recently focused on developing more inclusive models to better capture the co-creation of place identities. This paper aims to investigate stakeholder communication interactions in place branding processes to inform alternative, participatory, network governance models of stakeholder engagement. Design/methodology/approach: The literature on stakeholder engagement in place branding processes is sparse. Through a regional case study of the Australian island state of Tasmania, the paper combines participatory action research (PAR) with the method of sociological intervention (SI) to investigate how participants individually and collectively reflect on their practices and patterns of engagement. Findings: By combining PAR with SI, participants were enabled to gain a greater appreciation of how cooperation and collective self-reflection enhance effective place branding practices. Furthermore, by facilitating participants to compile a list of impediments to collaboration, the research informs efforts to develop more inclusive governance models for place branding. Finally, the PAR/SI method itself served as a practical tool to encourage enhanced stakeholder engagement in applied settings. Research limitations/implications: The approach is based on a single case study in a particular regional context and the findings require replication in other jurisdictions. Practical implications: PAR/SI is a practical tool to achieve greater stakeholder engagement and enhance collaborative social action through a process of collective, critical reflection in applied settings. Originality/value: The paper advances understanding of ways to operationalize participatory place branding through more inclusive, multistakeholder governance arrangements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-216
Number of pages18
JournalQualitative Market Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2020

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© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.


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