Project

Reputation Management

Goal: The main objective of this project (funded by the German Science Foundation: www.dfg.de/) is to answer the overall question on how perceptions and reputations on nonprofit and public organizations are shaped (1) over time (2) through social interactions (3) with and among various groups of stakeholders. This overall objective is cascaded-down in the following five research questions (RQs):

RQ1: What are the relevant antecedents for reputation building by nonprofit organizations, and how do the processes between antecedents and effects of reputation causally work.

RQ2: How does a series of interactions with stakeholders shape an organization's reputation?

RQ3: How can built-up reputation serve as a buffer for negative publicity, or for an (extreme) negative publicity event (e.g., due to a scandal in which the organization might be mentioned)? More concrete, is the impact of a negative message less strong when the organization already has built up a substantial reputation?

RQ4: What organizational characteristics determine the extent that certain organizations can be more effective with respect to reputation building among particular types of stakeholders?

RQ5: Which factors that vary across organizations and stakeholder groups explain the extent to which individuals share opinions on an organization’s reputation and effectiveness? Or in other words, can we explain the strength of the social dimension in shaping mental models on reputation and impact?

Methods: Qualitative Interview, Choice Experiments, Document Image Analysis, Multivariate Analysis Methods, Mixed methods

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Project log

Carolin Waldner
added a research item
To enhance organisational reputation, entrepreneurs are frequently put in the centre of attention. Particularly social entrepreneurs, who combine pro-social and entrepreneurial identities, often represent their organisations. Yet, we know little about how the presentation of a leader influences organisational reputation. Results of a 2 × 2 × 2 pre-registered experiment indicate that a leader-centred communication barely influences the stakeholders’ perceptions. However, stakeholders have a significantly better perception of a social enterprise that presents a leader with salient society-oriented character traits (versus business-oriented character traits). This study contributes to social entrepreneurship and reputation research and reveals new insights for practice.
Jurgen Willems
added a research item
This study investigates the impacts of negative and positive signals on public-serving organizations’ reputations. We draw on socio-cognitive perspectives to test how organizations’ breaches of stakeholders’ trust are repairable over time as well as the moderating effect of organizational mission valence on this forgiveness process. Multilevel data from two slope-shift experiments (n = 304; n = 582) show that mission valence, or individuals’ affinity with an organization’s mission, intensifies the effects of both negative and positive signals in organizations’ reputation building processes. Negative signals have stronger negative effects on intentions to support the organization for individuals with high mission valence. However, the effect of successive positive signals is also stronger for individuals with high mission valence, suggesting greater forgiveness following a stronger breach of trust among these stakeholders.
Jurgen Willems
added a research item
In den letzten Jahrzehnten hat das Streben nach Effizienz und Effektivität des Managements viele öffentliche und zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen verändert. Viele öffentliche Organisationen – wie z.B. die deutschen öffentlichen Universitäten im oben beschriebenen Fall – haben sich im Zuge der New Public Management Reformen als eigenständige Einheiten neu organisiert. Eine solche Umstrukturierung hat die Chance erhöht, dass kontextspezifische Management- und Führungspraktiken eingeführt werden. So können die öffentlichen Universitäten nun beispielsweise freier über die Verwendung der Mittel entscheiden. Die Umstrukturierung hat jedoch auch die Notwendigkeit erhöht, dass die Organisationen ihre Leistungen managen und darüber berichten, um somit langfristig ihre Reputation gegenüber externen Stakeholdern aufzubauen. Dies können sie erreichen, indem sie das richtige Maß an Transparenz wahren und ihren Stakeholdern gegenüber Rechenschaft ablegen. Öffentliche Universitäten bemühen sich nun mehr um ihr Image, z.B. indem sie Hochglanzbroschüren drucken und ihre Jubiläen feiern. Gleichzeitig wird von ihnen mehr Transparenz bezüglich ihrer Prozesse und Wirkungsbereiche erwartet. Wenn zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen für den Staat die Erbringung öffentlicher Leistungen übernehmen, dann geschieht dies zunehmend auf Basis von Leistungsverträgen mit komplexen Leistungs- und Zielvereinbarungen. Infolgedessen ist bei zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen die Notwendigkeit gestiegen, ihre Leistung, ihre Reputation, ihre Transparenz und ihre Rechenschaftspflicht gegenüber staatlichen Akteuren zu verwalten und zu steuern. Auch die Erwartungen privater Geldgeber/innen sind gestiegen, weil Skandale im Zusammenhang mit dem Missbrauch von Spendengeldern Spender/innen sensibilisiert haben (in Österreich z.B. der berüchtigteWorld Vision Skandal von 1998, der schließlich zur Einführung des österreichischen Spendengütesiegels führte). Aktuelle Trends in Richtung Venture Philanthropy und Impact Investment haben die Anforderungen privater Geldgeber/innen in Hinblick auf die Rechenschaftslegung von NPOs weiter erhöht.
Jurgen Willems
added a research item
Although many stakeholders perceive face‐to‐face street fundraising as unpleasant, nonprofit managers encourage it as a way to attract donors. To understand the long‐term effects of this fundraising method, we used a mixed‐methods experimental design to investigate how face‐to‐face street fundraising affects organizational reputation and stakeholder support intentions in comparison with letter fundraising. The findings reveal that face‐to‐face street fundraising has a significant negative influence on the stakeholders' perceptions of an organization. Further, qualitative data show that the negative perception originates primarily from perceived pressure, distrust, and obtrusion, which are triggered by face‐to‐face street fundraising. Our study thus reveals long‐term reputational consequences that nonprofit organizations should consider before deciding on fundraising methods. OPEN ACCESS: https://doi.org/10.1002/nvsm.1672
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Full #OpenAccess paper here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/nvsm.1672 #OpenData +Protocol here: Willems, J., & Waldner, C. (2020, February 20). The impact of face-to-face street fundraising on organizational reputation - supplement materials. https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/Z894X
DESCRIPTION Although many stakeholders perceive face-to-face street fundraising as unpleasant, nonprofit managers encourage it as a way to attract donors. To understand the long-term effects of this fundraising method, we used a mixed-methods experimental design to investigate how face-to-face street fundraising affects organizational reputation and stakeholder support intentions, in comparison to letter fundraising. The findings reveal that face-to-face street fundraising has a significant negative influence on the stakeholders’ perceptions of an organization. Further, qualitative data show that the negative perception originates primarily from perceived pressure, distrust, and obtrusion, which are triggered by face-to-face street fundraising. Our study thus reveals the long-term reputational consequences that nonprofit organizations should consider before deciding on fundraising methods. With: Carolin Waldner , @FelixGies, @JudithEhmann, and Me.
MORE INFO ON RELATED PROJECTS Willems, J., & Waldner, C. (2019, January 18). Reputation Management for Nonprofit Organizations. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/wj2ep https://www.researchgate.net/project/Reputation-Management SOME IMPORTANT REFERENCES
 
Jurgen Willems
added a research item
This article is the synopsis to my cumulative Habilitation dissertation in the field of Management (Submitted and defended at the Faculty of business, economic and social sciences of the University of Hamburg; Department of Social Economics). This Habilitation dissertation combines eleven published articles for which the overall content relates to three interrelated concepts: leadership, performance, and reputation. Therefore, in this synopsis, I shortly introduce these concepts, and I clarify the academic contributions made by this Habilitation for these three concepts. Moreover, I explain how the public and nonprofit sectors form the unique setting to study these three management concepts. Studying these concepts in the nonprofit and public context has at least two major advantages.
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Happy to announce our new DFG-related study... Reputation Stars are everywhere … but how do they “distract” us from other available information?
Soon I hope to upload some extra materials too (Fancy pictures, etc.).
With top co-authors Carolin Waldner and John C. Ronquillo
 
Jurgen Willems
added a research item
To simplify decision making processes, online platforms frequently display reputation star ratings as an indication of the quality of a product, service, or organization. Can information provided by such star ratings draw away attention from other information? This is an important question for platform developers to adjust the use of such ratings. We conduct a between-subjects laboratory experiment (n = 121) where we manipulate the difference between the reputation star ratings of two social profit organizations, and ask respondents to indicate which organization they prefer. Applying eye-tracking technology, we analyze how the visual attention between the treatment conditions differs. Our findings show that reputation star ratings are consulted as complementary information, rather than as substitute information. Moreover, the results suggest that the lack of stars – not the presence of more stars – attracts visual attention.
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Happy to announce our Open Access paper in Journal of Behavior Public Administration, with Lewis Faulk .
In three experiments, we find that voluntarily disclosing organizational fraud doesn’t have a substantial impact, at least not on the direct reaction of potential donors.
 
Jurgen Willems
added a research item
Open Access: https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/45 The reputations of nonprofit organizations can be damaged as a result of an organizational scandal, as demonstrated by recent examples of international nonprofit and non-governmental organizations. Common practice and findings from studies using administrative data suggest that nonprofits can reduce the negative effects of scandals by voluntarily disclosing information about the event to stakeholders. This study tests those assumptions in an experimental framework and finds that organizations’ voluntary disclosure of a scandal does not effectively mitigate negative donation intentions following the crisis.
Jurgen Willems
added a research item
There is a broad academic discussion about the impact of funding grants from a foundation or a government department on individual support intentions toward the nonprofit organization receiving the grant. However, the role of the grant provider's reputation has frequently been overlooked. In this study, we experimentally tested whether there is a reputation spillover effect of a grant‐providing organization. Based on a real‐life example, we asked citizens to rate their willingness to donate to a nonprofit organization, and we experimentally manipulated the available information on funding sources. We test this for both a government department and a foundation as a grant provider. Our results suggest that not the act of receiving a grant, but the citizens' awareness about the funding organization—at least in the case of a foundation—has an impact on support intentions. In contrast, for a prominent government department as a grant provider, we did not find support for a reputation spillover effect.
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Happy to announce our latest achievement (featuring Dominik Vogel ) in the context of this Reputation Project, ...
(Find the data and background information here: https://osf.io/djrtp/ )
 
Jurgen Willems
added a research item
In this outline we give an overview of the main background of our DFG-funded project, and the main research questions we focus on. The overall objective is to bring a substantial contribution to the literature on reputation building, and in particular in the field of organizations that have a social goal.
Jurgen Willems
added an update
We have uploaded a short description of our DFG project on Open Science Foundation; https://osf.io/wj2ep/
 
Carolin Waldner
added an update
Can a social enterprises manage reputation by giving certain information about the social entrepreneur?
We‘ll present a study on this on Friday 3:45 at this year‘s ARNOVA conference in Austin, Texas!
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
#ARNOVA18 panel on #NonProfit #Reputation, #ARNOVA2018
This panel groups four presentations that deal with the growing importance of nonprofit reputation in nonprofit stakeholder management. Our society is rapidly changing due to an increased use of social media, ad-hoc news coverage, and political and economic polarization. This has a huge impact on how nonprofits have to conceptualize their stakeholder management and their long-term reputation building strategies. Four studies in this panel, from researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds, report empirical research findings and clarify how contemporary nonprofits engage in stakeholder relationship management in order to bridge the gap between organizational crisis and sustainability.
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Last week, at the Oxford Reputation Symposium, I presented preliminary results of a new study on nonprofit reputation management and organizational crisis resistance. I am delighted that I was part of a panel with these two great senior scholars: Aseem Prakash and Susan D. Phillips .
This is the abstract:
Our society is rapidly changing due to an increased use of social media, ad-hoc news coverage, and political and economic polarization. This has a huge impact on how organizations, and non-profits in particular, have to conceptualize their stakeholder management and their long-term reputation building strategies. With some recent examples in mind from large international non-profits, this study starts from the observation that nonprofit reputation strategies are changing, and increasingly focus on managing crisis resistance and recovery from crisis situations. Therefore, this study explores the contextual and managerial factors that explain non-profit crisis resistance. Data from a large-scale data collection is used, in which non-profit board members and managers ( n = 1,912) from 363 non-profit organizations assess their organization’s crisis resistance. This data is merged with financial data and organizational background data from annual reports. With a multi-level analysis, the organizational crisis resistance and the internal agreement on it are evaluated. The findings show that higher levels of internal and external autonomy have a positive effect on crisis resistance. As a result, the practical recommendations of this study critically evaluate the call by some decision makers for more bureaucracy and external regulations for non-profit and non-governmental organizations.
Here are the slides (in attach).
Here is the full symposium program. https://t.co/wbA2uwmLId
 
Jurgen Willems
added a research item
Background: To assess hospital performance, quality perceptions of various stakeholders are increasingly taken into account. However, because of substantial background differences, various stakeholder groups might have different and even contrasting quality perceptions. Purpose: We test the hypothesis that an overall perception gap exists between employees and patients with respect to perceived hospital quality. We additionally elaborate on how various employee groups differ from each other and from patients. Methodology: We use primary survey data on perceived hospital quality from 9,979 patients and 4,306 employees from 11 German hospitals. With a multilevel regression and variance analysis, we test the impact of respondent type (employee or patient) on quality perception scores and test the interaction with hospital size. We additionally contrast different employee groups and test differences for various quality dimensions. Results and conclusion: Hospital employees score hospital quality consistently lower than patients and are also more heterogeneous in their assessments. This makes it from a managerial point of view relevant to subdivide employees in more homogeneous subgroups. Hospital size has no clear effect on the perception gap. Doctors compared to patients and other employee groups have substantially different perceptions on hospital quality. Practice implications: Our findings fuel the practical and ethical debate on the extent that perception gaps could and should be allowed in the context of high-quality and transparent hospital performance. Furthermore, we recommend that the quality perception gap is a substantial part of the overall hospital evaluation for ethical reasons but also to enable managers to better understand the (mis)match between employees' priorities and patients' preferences. However, we do warn practitioners that perceptions are only to a limited extent related to the organizational level (in contrast to the individual level), and only minimal improvements can thus be reached by differentiating from other hospitals.
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Great Blog-post by Aseem Prakash on the reputation crisis of OXFAM.
New governance standards are needed, and clear communication on it to restore organizational and sector reputation. And, this blog is good inspiration for a scientific case analysis, on the relation between governance and reputation:
Related publications (from this DFG project):
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Today I participated in a discussion panel at the University of Hamburg to share my experience on third-party funding applications.
Find the 'transscript' here.
 
Carolin Waldner
added an update
To enhance stakeholder engagement, social ventures and nonprofit organizations should engage in reputation-building activities from their very nascent phase onwards.
Jurgen Willems and I will present an empirical study on HOW social ventures can build such positive reputation tomorrow afternoon at ARNOVA conference.
We're very much looking forward to your feedback and comments!
 
Carolin Waldner
added an update
Street Fundraising is one of the most successful methods to build long-term relationships with donors. However, this fundraising strategy is controversial: A great majority of people perceive street fundraisers as rather annoying and intrusive.
In a recent study, which we will present at this year‘s ARNOVA conference in Grand Rapids, USA, we try to shed light into this controversy by investigating the influence of street fundraising on a NPO‘s reputation. We‘re looking forward to your input and feedback in Grand Rapids.
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
In this study, recently published online before print (with Stefan Ingerfurth ), we test how patients and personnel in hospitals consistently perceive hospital quality different.
Background: To assess hospital performance, quality perceptions of various stakeholders are increasingly taken into account. However, due to substantial background differences, various stakeholder groups might have different and even contrasting quality perceptions. Purpose: We test the hypothesis that an overall perception gap exists between employees and patients with respect to perceived hospital quality. We additionally elaborate on how various employee groups differ from each other and from patients.
Methodology: We use primary survey data on perceived hospital quality from 9,979 patients and 4,306 employees, from 11 German hospitals. With a multilevel regression and variance analysis, we test the impact of respondent type (employee or patient) on quality perception scores, and test the interaction with hospital size. We additionally contrast different employee groups and test differences for various quality dimensions.
Results and Conclusion: Hospital employees score hospital quality consistently lower than patients, and are also more heterogeneous in their assessments. This makes it from a managerial point of view relevant to subdivide employees in more homogeneous subgroups. Hospital size has no clear effect on the perception gap. Doctors compared to patients and other employee groups have substantially different perceptions on hospital quality.
Practice Implications: Our findings fuel the practical and ethical debate on the extent that perception gaps could and should be allowed in the context of high-quality and transparent hospital performance. Furthermore, we recommend that the quality perception gap is a substantial part of the overall hospital evaluation, for ethical reasons but also to enable managers to better understand the (mis)match between employees’ priorities and patients’ preferences. However, we do warn practitioners that perceptions are only to a limited extent related to the organizational level (in contrast to the individual level), and only minimal improvements can thus be reached by differentiating from other hospitals.
Some references:
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
With the Lindau Nobel prize meeting right behind me, I jumped today in full preparation of our presentation (with Silke Boenigk) later this week at the Reputation Symposium, of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation (Saïd Business School).
Our presentation title: Signal Accumulation in the Social Construction of Nonprofit Reputation: The Moderating Effect of Mission Valence on Trust Breach and Forgiveness.
We report two experiments in which we test how mission valence moderates trust breach and forgivingness when organizations recover from bad signals. We look forward to many interesting presentations, including the one of Aseem Prakash (chair of our session on Nonprofit Reputation and Branding). Some of the most important references that we build on:
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
We are happy to announce our study in NVSQ on Signals in Nonprofit Reputation Building.
It is an experiment study, in which we tested the effect of a social entrepreneurship claim, and of a third party certificate.
The full paper can be downloaded here: https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764017720770
And we made a short YouTube summary: https://youtu.be/kfvSK_YGoJk
some references:
 
Jurgen Willems
added a research item
In this study, we experimentally test the impact of a formal signal (a third-party certificate) and an informal signal (self-proclaimed management quality with respect to social entrepreneurship) on stakeholder supportive intentions and perceived organizational effectiveness. Our study confirms the social entrepreneurship advantage, but we find no proof of a convincing effect from the formal signal. However, complementary analyses and additional testing of control variables add new perspectives on the relative importance of the social entrepreneurship advantage and on potential moderators that could better explain in future studies the varying effects and specific contextual elements that influence formal and informal reputation-building signals.
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Packing my bags for EGOS (European Group of Organization Studies)… Here is a preview of my presentation… @EGOS2017 . Looking forward to get some constructive feedback on these preliminary ideas…
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Carolin Waldner presents the initial steps of our qualitative exploration on how social enterprises build up reputation in the very initial phase of their existence.
Title: Reputation Building in the Nascent Phase of a New Social-Profit Idea
Conference: 16th Doktoranden- und Habilitandenkolloquium - „Management Science“ Speyer, Germany. 19.-21. June 2017.
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
The ERNOP program is online (European Research Network On Philanthropy),…
... with the following presentations on Nonprofit Reputation:
  • "Nonprofit reputation building through employee satisfaction", with Stefan Ingerfurth
  • "The Benjamin-Franklin Effect: Does nonprofit sector reputation influence donation behavior, or is it the other way around?", with Carolin Waldner, René Bekkers and Arjen de Wit.
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Reputational effects among citizens as a result of cross-sector collaborations
Dominik Vogel and I will present the results of our new study at the 2017 IRSPM conference in Budapest. In three experiments we test the effect of organizational (in)dependence on stakeholder supporting intentions, and we test whether reputational spill-over effects exist of partner organizations; In other words, does the reputation of partner organizations influence stakeholder supporting intentions?
References
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
EMPLOYEES AS REPUTATION ADVOCATES
Stefan Ingerfurth presents this week our collaboration project at the DGGÖ conference (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie).
Background: Employees are important 'reputation advocates' of organizations, which means that they play a major role in recommending their organization to customers and other potential employees.
Our research questions: (1) Which employee satisfaction dimensions explain employee reputation building behavior for their organization? ; (2) Are these explaining dimensions similar for various employee groups, or do different satisfaction dimensions explain reputation building behavior for every specific employee group?
Analysis: For 1,084 respondents, from 2 hospitals we look at 48 satisfaction items in 11 dimensions of employee satisfaction, and test their relatedness with employee reputation building. We test these models for the overall sample of employees and for the subsamples of doctors, nurses, therapeutic personnel and administration personnel.
Results: Results show that various satisfaction dimensions explain reputation building behavior for the overall sample. However, substantial differences exist between the subsamples in explaining reputation building behavior, indicating that each employee group is driven by very different elements to contribute to the reputation of their organizations. For example, (1) satisfaction with work atmosphere is in particularly important for nurses, (2) satisfaction with practical work conditions is important for doctors, (3) satisfaction with the hospital management is the main driver for the administrative personal, while (4) satisfaction with the organization’s mission statement explains reputation building behavior for all employee groups.
 
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Reputation at individual level, in caring organizations.
We will present a short paper at EGOS (2017), with title: Professional reputation assessment in caring organizations: The impact of work-life integration. (Jurgen Willems & Carolin Waldner) – For a copy of the paper, please contact us. :-)
(Great) work we build on:
 
Jurgen Willems
added 3 research items
Public organizations are increasingly relying on nonprofit partners for the delivery of public services, a trend that makes performance assessments of nonprofit organizations important for the allocation of government resources. However, nonprofits engage multiple stakeholders, and this leads to complex sets of organizational goals and highly subjective assessments of nonprofit effectiveness. We develop a literature-based model to understand the subjective assessments of organizational performance by stakeholders that taken together constitute an organization’s effectiveness reputation. In this model, effectiveness reputation is impacted by stakeholder trust and satisfaction, which are in turn impacted by output ambiguity and stakeholder involvement. We find support for our model with a structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis based on survey data of organizational stakeholders (n = 284). We propose further research steps and highlight practical implications for nonprofit managers and public administrators.
Because shared mental models are critical for consistent, accurate decision making, this study seeks to explain the extent to which mental models are shared on the basis of team cognition theory and social constructionism. This study thus provides new insights into how the social dynamics among nonprofit leaders can explain mental models on nonprofit effectiveness. Specifically, team member exchange (TMX) quality should relate to agreement within leadership teams. Building on recent multilevel team research, this study regards the relationship theoretically as a separate actor and partner effect, which better reveals the underlying social processes. A multilevel data sample of 402 leaders from 44 nonprofit organizations provides support for the hypotheses, offering insights into the multilevel, emergent nature of team behavior and shared mental models. Practical recommendations focus on the central role of CEOs and board chairs, and on the need for a stronger consensus assessment in nonprofit performance evaluations.
This study explores which governance practices nonprofit leaders consider necessary to avoid organizational crises. Further, it explores whether these leadership mental models of crisis resistance depend on the organizational context. This helps determine whether practical learning points are organization specific or can be applied broadly. With a multilevel sample of 304 leaders from 44 Belgian nongovernmental development organizations, an exploratory path analysis reveals that nonprofit leaders consider continuous improvement, as a governance practice, particularly relevant for effective organizational crisis resistance. A multilevel analysis also shows that variations in leadership mental models cannot be explained by the organizational variables used in this study (organizational size, leadership group size, operational activities, and languages in the leadership group). This article concludes with a discussion of consequences for further research.
Jurgen Willems
added an update
Currently conducting two experiments that test how (non)work role referencing has an impact on the professional reputation of employees,...
 
Jurgen Willems
added a project goal
The main objective of this project (funded by the German Science Foundation: www.dfg.de/) is to answer the overall question on how perceptions and reputations on nonprofit and public organizations are shaped (1) over time (2) through social interactions (3) with and among various groups of stakeholders. This overall objective is cascaded-down in the following five research questions (RQs):
RQ1: What are the relevant antecedents for reputation building by nonprofit organizations, and how do the processes between antecedents and effects of reputation causally work.
RQ2: How does a series of interactions with stakeholders shape an organization's reputation?
RQ3: How can built-up reputation serve as a buffer for negative publicity, or for an (extreme) negative publicity event (e.g., due to a scandal in which the organization might be mentioned)? More concrete, is the impact of a negative message less strong when the organization already has built up a substantial reputation?
RQ4: What organizational characteristics determine the extent that certain organizations can be more effective with respect to reputation building among particular types of stakeholders?
RQ5: Which factors that vary across organizations and stakeholder groups explain the extent to which individuals share opinions on an organization’s reputation and effectiveness? Or in other words, can we explain the strength of the social dimension in shaping mental models on reputation and impact?