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Regular version of the site

Article

Turning a mundane ceremony into a meaningful organizational ritual: Some suggestions for the redesign of ribbon-cutting ceremonies

International Journal of Organizational Analysis. 2021. Vol. --. No. --. P. 1-25.

Abstract
Purpose This paper explores the phenomenon of ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new overseas
subsidiaries and demonstrates the possibility of modifying such ceremonies to place greater
emphasis on intra-organizational communications.
Design/methodology/approach A careful study of 200 videos on 73 ribbon-cutting
ceremonies in Russia between 2012 and 2018.
Findings Under the current prevalent design, ribbon-cutting ceremonies mostly entail interorganizational
communication, i.e., communication between foreign investors and
representatives of the authorities of the host country. Meanwhile, in addition to the standard
ribbon-cutting ceremonies, we observe several videos on intra-organizational communication,
i.e., pseudoformal meetings between the team from the corporate headquarters and employees
of a newly built factory. During such meetings, top corporate executives express the
importance of the factory vis-à-vis the future of the whole corporation, state their
expectations for the further development of the factory’s production facilities, postulate the
desired working atmosphere in the factory, and appeal for the commitment and assistance of
the employees in safeguarding the future of the investment.
Originality/value The findings provide a basis for a broader discussion on the role of ribboncutting
ceremonies as staged large-scale events organized by firms to articulate, highlight,
disseminate, rationalize, as well as mobilize internal and external support for their strategy.