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Reputation Management: Theory Versus Practice


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A firm's reputation is an intangible asset (Dowling, 1993). The nature of such a reputation depends upon everything the firm does as an entity, (Weigelt and Camerer, 1988) and particularly the signals and communications it chooses to give to the marketplace (Fombrun and Shanley, 1990). The symbol of that reputation, the corporate name, when well managed, represents the organization favorably to its publics and can be particularly valuable in doing so to its customers (Margulies, 1977; Berry et al, 1988; Balmer, 1995; Brown and Dacin, 1997). Reputation is then a complex phenomenon but one which is worth managing well. What differentiates between the good and the not-so-good management of reputation has been the subject of many practitioner texts (see for example Bernstein, 1984; Smythe et al, 1992; Sauerhaft and Atkins, 1989), but far less material has emerged from academic research outside of the possible links between an organization's culture and its image, either to the market (Hatch and Schultz, 1997) or with its employees (Dutton et al, 1994). While something is known about the activities organizations undertake in their management of reputation (Post and Griffin, 1997) less is known about the issues which are addressed by reputation managers, or even their views on those issues that appear, from the available literature, to be important in their role.Corporate Reputation Review (1998) 2, 16-27; doi:10.1057/palgrave.crr.1540064
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Reputation Management: Theory versus
Gary Davies* and Louella Miles
*Manchester Business School, Manchester
A ®rm's reputation is an intangible asset
(Dowling, 1993). The nature of such a
reputation depends upon everything the
®rm does as an entity, (Weigelt and
Camerer, 1988) and particularly the signals
and communications it chooses to give to
the marketplace (Fombrun and Shanley,
1990). The symbol of that reputation, the
corporate name, when well managed,
represents the organization favorably to its
publics and can be particularly valuable in
doing so to its customers (Margulies, 1977;
Berry et al, 1988; Balmer, 1995; Brown
and Dacin, 1997). Reputation is then a
complex phenomenon but one which is
worth managing well. What dierentiates
between the good and the not-so-good
management of reputation has been the
subject of many practitioner texts (see for
example Bernstein, 1984; Smythe et al,
1992; Sauerhaft and Atkins, 1989), but far
less material has emerged from academic
research outside of the possible links
between an organization's culture and its
image, either to the market (Hatch and
Schultz, 1997) or with its employees
(Dutton et al, 1994). While something is
known about the activities organizations
undertake in their management of reputa-
tion (Post and Grin, 1997) less is known
about the issues which are addressed by
reputation managers, or even their views
on those issues that appear, from the avail-
able literature, to be important in their
Sixteen companies were approached in the
latter part of 1997 by the authors with the
stated aim of identifying and exploring
issues associated with the management of
corporate reputation. Access was requested
to the `manager responsible for reputation
management'. Only two organizations
declined to participate in the study (Micro-
soft and McDonald's). McDonald's explain-
ed that it was not possible to discuss such
issues on a global basis. Microsoft claimed
that it did not discuss corporate communi-
cations strategy. The 14 who did partici-
pate are listed and described in Table 1.
No systematic approach was used in
selecting the 16 companies that were
approached, other than to ensure that the
sample included organizations of varying
size, business type and country of origin
and operation. Some used their corporate
name to promote all of their activities (a
unitary naming strategy). These tended to
be service businesses. Others used separate
branding for individual subsidiaries, pro-
ducts or both.
The methodology adopted was that of
an extended, semi-structured interview.
The interviewer introduced a number of
issues drawn from the existing literature on
reputation management to provide some
structure and focus rather than a pre-
prepared list of questions. Other issues
emerged from individual interviews and
were raised subsequently with all respon-
dents. The initial list of issues were:
Page 16
Corporate Reputation Review Volume 2 Number 1
Corporate Reputation Review,
Vol. 2, No. 1, 1998, pp. 16 ±27
#Henry Stewart Publications,
Ð what overall framework or major
objectives did they have in their
management of reputation?
Ð what in their view shaped reputation?
Ð how did the globalization of markets
aect their reputation management?
Ð what approaches did they use in
defending reputation?
Ð what measurement tools did they use?
Respondents were otherwise not led in
their replies by, for example, asking
whether they used a particular approach or
technique. The interviews were recorded
and transcribed. A `case study' of be-
tween 2,000 and 5,000 words in length was
prepared from each transcription, ordering
the material and identifying what had
emerged from the interview about reputa-
tion management in that particular ®rm.
Respondents were sent copies for their
comments as to accuracy. Follow-up ques-
tions were posed, by phone or mail. Once
completed, the 14 studies were re-analysed
to identify what was common to a major-
ity of ®rms. The ®ndings from this phase
form the main part of the results section
Table 1: Companies surveyed
Company Name Main Business Area Country
of Origin
Respondent's Job Title/Role
Anheuser Busch
Co-operative Bank
Post Oce
Marks & Spencer
New Look
Pret a Manger
Kimberly Clark
London Electricity
Postal & Financial
Paper Products
Gas Supply
Electricity Supply
Unitary at
Chief Executive
Executive Vice President and
Chief Communications Ocer
Head of Public Aairs
Managing Director
Head of Communications
Corporate Communications
Joint Managing Director
Joint Owner
Director, Corporate
Director of Public Aairs
European Corporate
Communications Director
Director of Corporate Aairs
Group Corporate Aairs
Communications Manager
Page 17
Davies and Miles
An overall framework?
There is confusion in the business and
academic literatures on reputation manage-
ment over what the constituent parts of a
corporate reputation are and what terms
should be used to label each. Based upon
the de®nitions of Abratt (1989), corporate
reputation was presented to respondents as
having three facets:
Ð Personality (what the organization
really is)
Ð Identity (what it says it is)
Ð Image (what people see it as).
The existence of any gaps between these
facets is seen as likely to create problems,
(Bernstein, 1984). These two perspectives
were used to create Figure 1 as a frame-
work to be shown to respondents at the
beginning of each interview. Respondents
were asked speci®cally for their views on
the diagram and for their thoughts as to
consequences of any gaps between the
three facets. This discussion was expected
to lead into what each thought the overall
framework for reputation management
was, or should be concerned with.
What shapes reputation?
There is debate about what shapes reputa-
tion, the relative importance of culture,
(Alvesson, 1990); design and other tangibles,
(Olins, 1978; Selame and Selame, 1988);
advertising and public relations, (Meyers,
1984; Kitchen and Proctor, 1991; Wartick,
1992); and social responsibility (McGuire et
al, 1988). Respondents were asked about
their views on what shaped reputation.
Links between reputation and ®nancial
Respondents were asked speci®cally about
their budgets for reputation management
and promotion and how these compared
with those for (product) advertising in
their organizations. Linked to this, respon-
dents were asked about their views on the
correlation of improving reputation and
improving ®nancial performance, an asso-
ciation that is implied by the correlation
Initial promptFigure 1
Page 18
Reputation Management
between reputation and ®nancial perfor-
mance in the Fortune studies (Fryxell and
Wang, 1994; Reese 1993).
The eect of globalization
The globalization of business can aect a
corporate reputation in a number of ways.
The theoretical context includes the (exten-
sive) literature on the country of origin
eect (see for example Morella and Boer-
ema, 1989), and the umbrella eect the
nationality of the original business can have
on corporate reputation (Bernstein, 1984).
Respondents were asked to talk about any
issues of relevance here.
Defense of reputation
Defending a reputation can be as critical as
building one. The literature on crisis man-
agement is relevant here (Siomkis and Mal-
liaris, 1992; Wartick, 1992 and Fink, 1986)
and respondents were asked how they and
their ®rms approached the defense of a
What is measured
Finally, one issue expected to be illuminat-
ing as to what really mattered to each
organization was that of measurement.
Respondents were asked what measure-
ment tools they had used, what they mea-
sured and what they did with the results of
any systematic measurement. Both frame-
works (Kotler and Barich, 1991) and tech-
niques (Kruskal and Wish, 1978; Allan,
1992) are available for image measurement
in the literature.
Some general points can be made before
the main points to emerge from the study
are presented. Ten of the 14 respondents
held the job title of director or the equiva-
lent (vice president) in their organization
(see Table 1). Two points stem from this.
First, that companies see the role as requir-
ing fairly senior responsibility (in the smal-
ler organizations contacted, respondents
tended to be the CEO). Secondly, the
responses recorded are likely to focus more
on policy than on operational issues. That
said, only two respondents were part of, or
headed, large departments whose role was
that of managing reputation. Operational
matters were either not their concern or
they used outside agencies for such work.
The ®rst prompt (see Figure 1) that
respondents faced did not elucidate the
kind of broad ranging reactions that were
expected. Frankly, few saw it as a relevant
framework. Reputation to them did not
appear to be compartmentalized and, if it
was, not overtly in the way implied by
Figure 1. Gaps between personality, image
and identity were seen as an issue, although
one respondent could have been speaking
for all when he suggested that all three
facets, in reality, overlap. However, as will
be returned to later, respondents did, in
their work, focus on two of the three,
image and personality, albeit using dier-
ent terms to label them from the ones in
Figure 1. We report our ®ndings against
the list of issues identi®ed from the litera-
ture as starting points for the interviews,
and against the issues that emerged during
the interviews themselves.
In the interviews managers tended to
emphasize similar factors that they saw as
important to their main external publics.
These included being seen to market qual-
ity products or services, to be innovative,
to employ excellent sta and to be posi-
tively involved in the local or national
community. Such factors re¯ected the
checklists used in commercial measures of
reputation (Fortune, 1997; Management
Today, 1997). `Being seen' as performing
well in all such areas was a clear priority
for those interviewed, rather than the more
conceptual notion of closing gaps between
Page 19
Davies and Miles
personality, image and identity. Such an
interpretation of the content of the inter-
views was supported by their responses to
questions about measurement (see below),
where there was an emphasis on measuring
the amount and content of press and other
media comment about their organization.
Shaping reputation
Behind these overall objectives lay an
apparent presumption among most inter-
viewees that corporate culture was central
to the practice of reputation management.
Respondents often referred to the need to
build and sustain `core values'. The labels
they used varied; two, for example, used the
term `principles' but what they talked about
or had available in documents that would
be used extensively within their organiza-
tions tended to be similar (see Table 2).
Eleven of the 14 ®rms had such lists or they
could be identi®ed from the interviews.
Honesty, integrity or trustworthiness
were the most prominent `values'. A
number of points can be made here. Such
values could be criticized as being more
Table 2: Respondents descriptions of core values
Continuous improvement
Sharing in success
Listening to each other
Having fun doing all of that
Value for money
Providing innovative
Customer orientation
Speed and decisiveness
Team and individual responsibility
Cultural diversity
Results orientation
Quality and excellence
Being part of the national
Oering a personal service
Being unique in its ability to
reach everyone
Pleasantly surprising
Family orientated
Good management
Quality products
First class customer service
Value for the customer
Partnership with suppliers
Social responsibility
Conduct all relationships in a
straightforward, trustworthy
We care
We value the worth and respect
the dignity of every person
We say what we do
We honour commitments
Teamwork achieves better
We strive to be better
Value for money
A sense of challenge
Page 20
Reputation Management
`motherhood and apple pie' than values
which might make one organization dis-
tinctive from another. What is meant by
integrity in particular is open to interpreta-
tion. Some companies were under attack
from pressure groups on speci®cs such as
environmentalism, additives or the use of
child labour. Their views that they were
acting with integrity were not then univer-
sally accepted externally. Even within each
organization, there would also be those
who queried their employer's position on
such matters as could be judged from state-
ments such as `we are open to challenge on
this' or `we are weak on this issue'. Other
words, such as `fun' and `authentic' may
not be immediately recognizable as `values'
but they did give a distinctive picture of
what the organization, or rather its senior
management, wanted it to be as an entity.
Interestingly, the lists of values re¯ected
many of the aspects of what has been
de®ned as `brand personality' (Aaker,
1997). In her study of consumer brands
(many of which, such as Kmart, Camp-
bells, Michelin, Mercedes, Kodak and Levi,
were also corporate names), Aaker identi-
®ed ®ve that she labelled as `personality
dimensions': sincerity, excitement, compe-
tence, sophistication and ruggedness, from
a factor analysis of opinion questions. The
®rst three are similar to the values compa-
nies in our study were promoting inside
their organizations and it is possible that
companies are intuitively promoting values
inside their organizations that map on to
the dimensions used by customers when
they are assessing them externally.
Companies did not then overtly recog-
nize the framework for reputation manage-
ment as implied by Figure 1. They saw a
number of factors that the organization
should be rated well for externally, but
they did not necessarily label this as
`image'. Simultaneously, they had a rather
dierent set of values that they were pro-
moting inside their organizations but again
they tended not to recognize the label of
`personality'. Sometimes these two sets
were similar but most often they were not.
This may re¯ect the fact that commercial
measures of image as promoted by Fortune
and others do not tend to include con-
structs such as honesty, as these are
expected from every organization. How-
ever, the lack of congruence between the
two lists is one of the main points to
emerge from our analysis. Gaps between
image and personality will be inevitable in
such circumstances, yet our respondents
did not appear to conceptualize their role
as focussing on a need to minimize such
Factors such as advertising, public rela-
tions and design were seen by some but
not all as being central to reputation man-
agement. One interesting issue here was
that most respondents had no responsibility
for advertising or the design of company
premises, while most were responsible for
public relations. One complained about the
lack of coordination between what he was
doing and what was happening in `market-
ing'. The external media were seen as an
issue for the communication of reputation
rather than its creation. Occasionally
design was seen as having a more funda-
mental role, certainly in service businesses,
such as retailing, where it could be used to
create an atmosphere that would in¯uence
customers and sta alike. The same could
be said by a minority for advertising but
three of the 14 spent little or no money on
this and some of the others who did so,
such as the Co-operative Bank, questioned
the validity of advertising `what you are
not'. Managing corporate values and
public relations appeared to be the only
widely-used methods of shaping
Where the chosen corporate values had
come from was one issue that emerged
from the interviews. In some instances, and
the most widely documented would be
Page 21
Davies and Miles
that of Marks and Spencer, the values (or
in their case principles) had been established
far back in the company's history. They
had evolved but had remained remarkably
constant over time. Other companies had
derived their lists more recently, as a
response perhaps to an organizational
change and often as part of a systematic
attempt at culture management.
Reputation and ®nancial performance
Given the well-developed line of research
in both the business and academic press
about the linkages between reputation
and ®nancial performance, the reactions to
this part of the study were surprising. A
minority vociferously challenged the line
of questioning, arguing that reputation
management was not to be associated
(cynically) with increasing pro®t. Fostering
positive corporate values was seen as a valid
goal in its own right, a given in today's
society. Some saw it as positively danger-
ous to link reputation and pro®tability.
Others held dierent, if less emotive,
views. The Co-operative Bank, for exam-
ple, clearly believed that its ethical posi-
tioning adopted in the 1980s had bene®tted
it ®nancially as well as providing a cultural
platform. Examples of the links between a
fall in external reputation and a decline in
sales were often given. One interesting
concept emerged from the interview with
Safeway, where changes in reputation were
seen as being a leading indicator for the
company of a future change in ®nancial
fortunes. An improvement in reputation
measures heralded a subsequent increase in
sales and vice versa.
Given the antipathy towards associating
®nancial performance with reputation, it
was no surprise that reputation manage-
ment in some companies was an activity
without a budget. More interesting was
that few of the 14 companies had a de®ned
budget for reputation building, even in
those companies where senior managers
appeared to be convinced about the exis-
tence of direct relationships between
improving reputation and improving sales
and pro®t. Budgets, where they did exist,
tended to be de®ned and cost justi®ed for
speci®c activities. A major sponsorship
might be assessed by an increase in certain
®gures, for example. Only one company,
the Italian retailer Standa, appeared to
budget for its reputation management as a
whole and to have clear associated
measures of cost-eectiveness. Here, the
issue had been one of the turnaround of its
department store chain where expenditure
on redesign, for example, was appraised
against changes in sales ®gures. Another
retailer, New Look, saw the issue of
budgets as irrelevant, explaining this view
by emphasizing that virtually everything
the company spent money on could be
considered to be contributing to reputa-
tion. These comments aside, the service
businesses in our sample tended to be more
convinced of the linkages between invest-
ment in reputation and commercial success,
a point returned to later.
Managing reputation change
Virtually every interview produced a great
deal of material about managing a change
in reputation, even though this issue is not
referred to frequently in the academic
Three quite dierent types of change
situation became apparent during the inter-
views. Globalization was just one aspect as
companies often commented on the need
to evolve culture to better meet changing
market circumstances. Vickers, for exam-
ple, had been moving from a diversi®ed
conglomerate to a more divisionalized
structure requiring a more cohesive culture
across previously separate business units. In
a similar way, mergers or demergers
created a need for, this time, a more radical
approach to change either due to the fusion
of two previously competitive organiza-
Page 22
Reputation Management
tions as in the case of Kimberley Clark and
Scott; or in the creation of new entities as
larger businesses divided themselves into
smaller, more agile units, as in the cases of
Centrica and London Electricity. The third
situation arose from a move into a new
geographical market (as part of globaliza-
tion) where the native culture was not in
tune with values that had led to business
success in the home market. Two retailers
oered the same example of where the
`value for money, money o ' approach
they had used successfully in the British
market had caused suspicion in, respec-
tively, France and Spain, where a dis-
counted price implied that the retailer
wanted to get shot of goods of perhaps
questionable quality quickly. Each business
had to change its orientation to selling
quite fundamentally in a new country and
in doing so had had to change what it
regarded as a major plank in the way it did
There were some points made about the
value or otherwise of being seen as `British'
or `American' outside of one's home
market. Some stereotyping of country
images was expected by some managers
(re¯ecting the country of origin literature),
but the points made were rarely central to
the companies' views on what was critical
in managing reputation.
A majority of respondents appeared to
believe that they could manage a change in
organizational values, identifying ®rst an
appropriate set of values and then commu-
nicating these to employees and customers.
The validity of such an approach has been
challenged in the organization behaviour
literature as impractical and naõ
Ève (Alvesson,
1990), but it was advocated by a number of
experienced managers in our study.
Defending reputation
Little of substance emerged from this part
of the interview process. Companies were
well aware of how crises and crisis man-
agement formed part of reputation man-
agement. Some speci®cs were discussed
but, given the respondents' roles, it was
not surprising that any crises that were
mentioned had been handled competently.
Two companies, Anheuser Busch and
Marks and Spencer oered examples of
where potential crises (a factory closure
and the IRA bombing of Manchester city
centre) had, in their view, contributed
positively to the reputation of each organi-
zation. In both cases, the public's view of
the organization had enabled each to act in
a positive manner, defusing potentially dif-
®cult situations. Because the problems had
been handled well, this was believed to
have supported the companies' respective
Companies were coy about measurement
issues and few were willing to provide spe-
ci®c examples of what they did to assess
and track their reputations. However, most
regularly used one or more proprietary
measures of media exposure (column
inches of newsprint, number of mentions
of speci®c issues related to the business).
Few had used any of the market research
tools (positioning analysis, multidimen-
sional scaling, etc) that could be used to
assess and track actual consumer opinion.
Measurement appeared to be more ad hoc,
and issue based.
The Post Oce was unique in sharing
with us the results of its regular monitoring
of a list of dimensions of its public persona.
Standa had measured the change in custo-
mer expenditure for dierent levels of
refurbishment to assess the cost eective-
ness of their investment program. Kimber-
ley Clark had introduced a `balanced
scorecard', a battery of measures with tar-
gets for improvement on each, to track its
progress in the culture change program
that had been introduced following its
merger with competitor Scott Paper.
Page 23
Davies and Miles
Asking about measurement did reveal
much about the origins and function of the
respondents and their roles. In larger com-
panies, which tended to employ director
level people with job titles including the
phrase `corporate communications', there
was a clear focus on the media. Whatever
else they did, media relations and media
monitoring were important. As such, the
origins of their role appeared to be in what
used to be called public relations in most
organizations. Our observations are com-
patible with more quantitative research
that emphasizes the use of press releases in
reputation management (Carter et al,
The fact that few were involved in
market research as opposed to media or
employee research is signi®cant. This was
still part of the role of the `marketing'
function. In theory, this is a potential area
of inter-departmental con¯ict. In one retai-
ler, this was mentioned as a real issue.
Interestingly, since our study, corporate
communications has become part of the
marketing function in that company.
The nature of the sample and its small size
make it dangerous to draw absolute con-
clusions from our research. The elements
of commonality from 14, quite disparate,
organizations provide, however, some con-
®dence for generalization that can be tested
in the future in more quantitative surveys.
Reputation management is still in its
infancy as a business discipline. Apart from
a focus on the media, which re¯ected the
origins of the function in `public relations',
there is as yet no clear blueprint for the
role of reputation manager, which is cur-
rently (at least in the companies studied)
focussed on corporate communications.
What is interesting was the seniority of the
majority of respondents. Four of the 14
were CEOs. Only four did not hold the
title of director or the American equiva-
lent, vice president. Yet few had budgets
for reputation management in the way that
marketing departments have budgets for
brand advertising and product image man-
agement. Perhaps this is to be expected, as
illustrated by the refusal of one respondent
to discuss the issue of a reputation manage-
ment budget, claiming that everything the
company did could impact upon its
There are a number of ways in which
the lack of formalization of the role,
despite its apparent importance, can be
interpreted. One is that here is a new role
which has yet to become clearly de®ned.
New business functions do not emerge fre-
quently and it is worth recalling that Mar-
keting as a function dates only from the
1960s; purchasing or procurement evolved
out of buying as a professional role in the
1970s; logistics developed from transport
via physical distribution management in
the 1980s. New functions may have pro-
blems establishing themselves with cred-
ibility. Strauss (1964), commenting on the
rise of purchasing as a business function,
saw the setting up of professional organiza-
tions and quali®cations as a step towards
the `professionalisation' of a new business
function and its selling of itself to senior
management. Reputation management has
no need of such devices as it is already
regarded as a top level role. What is then
surprising is the limited number of profes-
sional organizations, journals and quali®ca-
tions serving the area to inform those in
such a role. Public relations is seen as a
profession with its own professional asso-
ciations and it is possible that these might
evolve to ®ll such an obvious gap.
If media relationships are one corner-
stone of reputation management then
another is that of a responsibility for orga-
nizational culture. Respondents were guar-
dians of corporate values. Although what
were held to be values can be critiqued,
most interviews identi®ed a largely overt
Page 24
Reputation Management
list of things respondents wanted their
organizations to stand for. To many, estab-
lishing appropriate values was an end in
itself. It was not a stepping stone towards
higher pro®ts or lower costs. Many chal-
lenged the appropriateness of linking the
two, while others, tending to be in the ser-
vices sector, saw the two as welded
together. For such as these our initial dia-
gram should have made more sense. There
was a problem of nomenclature here that
probably ensured that the diagram itself
was not generally understood, but a focus
on culture and external image as separate
issues was nevertheless apparent from the
interviews themselves. Gaps between the
two would be inevitable when they were
managed (as appeared to be the norm) as
separate issues.
The particular relevance of corporate
branding to a service business has been
noted by others (Berry et al, 1988; Alvers-
son, 1990; Balmer, 1995). Our work would
support this. Reputation management in
service businesses had much more to do
with positioning the business simulta-
neously to employees and to customers
than in the manufacturing businesses we
interviewed. In the latter, the existence of
individual brands could insulate the com-
pany from its customers, making any dys-
function between culture and image almost
immaterial. In a service business, the custo-
mer and employee interact to create the
product that the customer pays for, the
customer entering temporarily into the
employee's culture, albeit peripherally, in
order to do so. The interrelationship
between culture and image may be crucial.
Respondents in service businesses were
more likely to accept the idea of linkages
between reputation and ®nancial perfor-
mance and to be managing culture and
external image as a coherent whole.
One explanation here is that in a service
business a good reputation acts as an ante-
cedent for both employee and customer
attitudes as they enter the service encoun-
ter. If both expect a positive exchange,
then the encounter is more likely to be so.
Sales will be higher as would repeat busi-
ness (following a satisfying encounter).
Sta retention will be better than in busi-
nesses where encounters are less positive
and therefore costs could be lower. If this
scenario is valid, then reputation manage-
ment could be central to most service
One area for further research would then
be to examine, speci®cally in service busi-
nesses such as leisure services, store retail-
ing, banking, hotels, restaurants and
education, the linkages or lack of them
between personality/culture and image.
Are the two linked and when one is out of
step with the other what happens? A
working hypothesis would be that when
values such as honesty/sincerity are pro-
moted successfully inside a service business,
then they become more apparent to custo-
mers as elements of corporate (brand)
image. The corporate brand is strengthened
as is the corporate reputation.
A second area for research is to track
what managers responsible for corporate
reputation do, so as to observe how the
function is evolving. At present, studying
reputation management is akin to studying
marketing management in the 1960s. The
principles are being established and there is
some commonality in approach. An
emphasis in such longitudinal studies
should be placed on the strategic role of
the function and, again in the services
sector, on identifying who is responsible
for positioning the business to customers, is
it a marketing function, a reputation man-
agement function or is it shared? What
happens in either case? From our research
it appears that reputation managers are not
always seen as solely responsible for the
image projected to customers. Their exter-
nal focus is often on other publics reached
via the media, using criteria similar to
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Davies and Miles
those used to measure the reputation of
businesses among business people, such as
innovation and sta quality.
A third area for examination would be
the links between reputation and perfor-
mance. Surveys such as those by Fortune
assess the opinions of business people who
are not necessarily core customers for the
businesses they are appraising. What mea-
sures of corporate reputation as seen by the
customer correlate with performance? Are
such measures leading indicators of future
performance as suggested by one of our
A fourth area would be an examination
of how successful managers are in changing
culture. Longitudinal studies of culture
would not be easy but work is needed to
test whether culture management is as
valid a tool as practitioners believe it to be.
A ®nal area for future research must be
that of measurement. Reputation varies in
its meaning, dependent upon the audience,
but there could be elements that are com-
monly held to be important by all custo-
mers of all businesses Ð or by all investors
or by all employees (Fombrun, 1996,
p.136). Reputation is still a woolly con-
cept, a mixture of constructs Ð but so was
marketing 40 years ago. Without estab-
lished measurement tools for reputation it
will be impossible to be convincing about
any linkages between reputation and per-
formance. Without any such linkages,
budgets for reputation management will
remain inde®nable and this may act as a
barrier to the function's evolving further
from its origins in media management. A
number of respondents complained of
inadequate resources, but resources can
only be expected to follow evidence of
quantitative links between reputation and
performance. Those managers who deny
links between reputation and ®nancial per-
formance are less likely to obtain signi®-
cant budgets for their work.
Throughout this paper there has been
one covert assumption, that reputation
management exists as a business role. Our
research demonstrates that it does, albeit
under the title of `communications' rather
than reputation and in an embryonic form.
It will be interesting to see how many job
titles change to include the word `reputa-
tion' in years to come and how the role
changes in the ®rms who cooperated with
the research reported here.
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Davies and Miles
... (Ruiz, et al., 2016) mentioned that corporate reputation is an indicator of the quality of business actions. (Davies and Miles, 1998) mentioned that there are three dimensions of corporate reputation; they are identity, image, and desired identity. (Davies and Miles, 1998) defined identity as how we see ourselves, they defined image as to how others see ourselves and they defined the desired identity as how we want others to see ourselves. ...
... (Davies and Miles, 1998) mentioned that there are three dimensions of corporate reputation; they are identity, image, and desired identity. (Davies and Miles, 1998) defined identity as how we see ourselves, they defined image as to how others see ourselves and they defined the desired identity as how we want others to see ourselves. (Barnett, et al., 2006) stated that identity, image, and reputation are still often used interchangeably. ...
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The purpose of this study is to explain the role of corporate brand reputation in building strong relationships with customers. This study aims to build and test a model that includes interrelationships among a corporate brand reputation and its possible consequences. A structured questionnaire was distributed to users of home appliances who are located in Egypt. Data were obtained from 357 respondents and were analyzed using statistical package for social science (SPSS) version.16 and analysis of moment structure package (AMOS) version.18.The results indicated that a firm's brand reputation has a significant impact on customer satisfaction which has a significant effect on customer trust and both customer satisfaction and customer trust have a significant effect on customer loyalty. The results of this research can be generalized to other industries and other countries. Firms can have a good reputation by offering high-quality and innovative products to the customers and considering the criteria that the customers use to evaluate home appliances before purchasing. This study is one of the few studies that investigate the interrelationships among a corporate brand reputation and its possible consequences. This study helps firms' managers to know how to create a positive corporate brand reputation and gain its benefits.
... Despite the importance of these reputations, public organizations have to actively enact reputations by communicating with their stakeholders (Davies & Miles, 1998). However, given the difficulty of accessing performance information and the information asymmetry between organizations and their stakeholders (Baumgartner et al., 2022), public organizations rely on signals, which are "informational cues sent out by one party to another in order to influence desired outcomes" (Taj, 2016, p. 339). ...
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Amid crises of trust in government, the legitimacy of public organizations has never been more important. In this context, access to performance information ensures democratic control, and thus legitimacy. However, performance evaluation is hindered by transaction costs in accessing and cognitive biases in interpreting performance. We examine two antecedents of citizen evaluations of performance: sector, and bureaucratic reputation. Utilizing two experiments on a representative sample of Indian citizens, we situate our paper amid the increasing privatization of public services, and reputation management strategies used to influence performance evaluations. We discuss our findings and their implications for public management theory and practice.
... Key stakeholders include those groups without whose continued involvement the firm cannot survive (Benn et al., 2016;Clarkson, 1995), such as employees and customers, and who have the power to influence management decisions (Mitchell et al., 1997). The relationship with these stakeholders is undoubtedly key for any organization, as it is a fundamental interface between the organization and various external stakeholders (Da Camara, 2006;Davies & Miles, 1998;Schultz et al., 2001). ...
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This paper analyses the intention of Spanish companies to continue using telework after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this aim, we consider the influence that the management of several variables related to one of the key stakeholders, employees, has on this intention. This line of study is of great interest, given the implications not only for the management of companies, but also for key aspects such as the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To this end, we start with a review of the relevant literature on this topic, which allows us to raise various research hypotheses. This is followed by an analysis of a sample of 1,879 Spanish SMEs though a binary logistic regression model, which shows the positive influence of managers' university education and companies' orientation towards innovation on the use of telework after the pandemic. Resumen Este trabajo analiza la intención de las empresas españolas de seguir utilizando el teletrabajo tras el fin de la pandemia del COVID-19. Con este objetivo, consideramos la influencia que tiene en esta intención la gestión de diversas variables relacionadas con uno de los principales grupos de interés, los empleados. Esta línea de estudio es de gran interés dada la implicaciones no solo para la gestión de las empresas, sino también para aspectos clave como los objetivos de la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible. Para ello, partimos de una revisión de la literatura relevante sobre este tema, lo que nos permite plantear diversas hipótesis de investigación. A continuación, se analiza una muestra de 1.879 pymes españolas mediante un modelo de regresión logística binaria, que muestra la influencia positiva de la formación universitaria de los directivos y la orientación a la innovación de las empresas en el uso del teletrabajo tras la pandemia.
... Ekonomik şirketlerden bürokratik yapılara, eğitim kurumlarından sivil toplum örgütlerine tv. kanallarına dek farklı işlevler bağlamında kurumsallaşmış yapıların paydaşlar nazarındaki değeri itibarı besler (Christensen & Gornitzka, 2019;Davies & Miles, 1998;Fombrun & Riel, 1997;Smitds & Riel, 2001). Kurumsal yapılar gerek çalışanların gerekse de tüketicilerin algılarını sürekli onarmak amacıyla itibarlarını test ederler. ...
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Media has an essential role in terms of its effects on social life. The power to influence social life is directly related to the technological and discursive capacity of the media. This study aims to measure the reputation attributed to media in the social sphere based on the capacity of the media. Another aim is to explore the reputation of the media tools according to generations and education level, which is a cultural capital component. In addition, the differentiation of reputation scores of television, internet, newspaper, and social media according to generations has been examined. The data used in the study were taken from a research project supported by TUBITAK. With a representative sample of Turkey, the data were collected through the face-to-face interview with 4840 participants in 12 cities selected according to the first level of Turkish Statistical Regional Units Classification (NUTS1). Gender and age quotas have been applied proportionally to increase the representation power of the sample. The findings are summarized as follows; Television and the internet received the highest reputation scores, and social media and newspapers followed them. Generation and educational levels have been affected by media reputation scores. Each generation shows more value to the media, which was popular in its period. This can be considered a reflection of all kinds of tastes or preferences shaped by generation. As the level of education increases, people move away from the old media. The level of education gives a predisposition to how to use the media. The relationship between the level of education and the media can also be considered in this context. Sociological interpretations have been made on statistical analysis performed in the study.
... Regarding the recommendations that will bring benefit to teachers, the participants indicated the necessity of activating the motivative factors such as congratulations, rewards, bonuses, service scores, and overtime wages. Gürses & Helvacı (2011) and Davies & Miles (1998) also state in their research that as long as the rewarding method is not preferred in the change processes, the resistance will continue, and the teacher is the one who should be appreciated and congratulated throughout the process. As for the recommendations to relieve anxiety, participants pointed out effective communication, conducting the process in goodwill, giving motivating discourses, and informing about the outcomes of change. ...
... Kurumsal itibar, işletmeler için ekonomik olarak değer yaratma kapasitesine sahip olan, rakipler tarafından taklit edilmesi zor, soyut karakterli, stratejik bir işletme varlığı olarak ifade edilmektedir (Hall vd., 1970;Davies, Miles 1998;Castro vd. 2006). ...
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Corporate reputation accepted as one of the strategic sources is corporate assets which add value to firm and has long-term benefits. Due to the increasing importance, in the recent years, corporate reputation has been an interesting subject for academicians along with the business world. The aim of this study is to examine how employees perceive the corporate reputation of the enterprises operating in plastic packaging industry and the impact of these perceptions on organizational pride, job satisfaction and organizational commitment as well. Questionnaire prepared in this context was applied to 273 employees. The package programme of IBM SPSS STATISTICS 20 was used in analyzing the data and in order to reveal relations among variables, the factor analysis, Anahtar Sözcükler: Kurumsal itibar, örgütsel kıvanç, örgütsel bağlılık, iş tatmini. Özet: İşletmenin stratejik kaynaklarından birisi olarak kabul edilen kurumsal itibar, firmaya değer katan ve uzun vadeli getirileri olan bir işletme varlığıdır. Kurumsal itibar, artan bu öneminden dolayı, son yıllarda gerek iş dünyasının gerekse akademisyenlerin ilgisini çeken bir konu haline gelmiştir. Bu araştırmanın amacı, Doğu Marmara Bölgesi plastik ambalaj sanayisinde faaliyet gösteren işletmelerin kurumsal itibarlarının çalışanlar tarafından nasıl algılandığını ve bu algıların örgütsel kıvanç, iş tatmini ve örgütsel bağlılık üzerindeki etkisini incelemektir. Bu kapsamda hazırlanan anket formu 273 çalışan üzerinde uygulanmıştır. Verilerin analizinde IBM SPSS STATISTİCS 20 paket programı kullanılmış ve değişkenler arasındaki ilişkileri belirlemek için, faktör analizi, korelasyon ve çoklu regresyon analizlerinden yararlanılmıştır. Araştırma sonuçları kurumsal itibarı oluşturan boyutların çalışanlar tarafından farklı algılandığını göstermektedir. Çalışanlar, işletme ile üretilen mal ve hizmetleri kaliteli ve çekici bulmakta, işletmenin sosyal sorumluluk alanındaki faaliyetlerinin ise yeterli olduğuna ilişkin tereddüt içinde bulunmaktadırlar. Doğu Marmara Bölgesi Plastik ambalaj sektörüne ilişkin değerlendirme raporu incelendiğinde de, bu konuda benzer bir algı olduğu ve çalışanların işletmelerinin sosyal sorumluluk faaliyetlerini yetersiz buldukları görülmektedir. Bunun yanı sıra, kurumsal itibarın çalışma ortamı boyutunun iş ve ücret tatmini, örgütsel bağlılık, örgütsel kıvançtan oluşan tüm iş tutumları üzerinde pozitif etkiye sahip, güçlü bir değişken olduğu görülmektedir. Kurumsal itibarın sosyal sorumluluk faaliyetlerinde bulunma boyutunun ise, örgütsel kıvanç ve örgütsel bağlılık üzerinde pozitif etkilerinin olduğu saptanmıştır. Kurumsal itibarın işletme ile ürettiği mal ve hizmetler boyutunun ise ücret tatmini üzerinde negatif bir etkisinin olduğu görülmektedir.
... The aspects of health & safety and fines & legal penalties were ignored, because their impact was not significant in FMS. Reputation and customer confidence are the top priority for PT XYZ's FMS services [11], because as a relatively new company in the FMS service business, damage to reputation and trust can have a huge impact on other aspects, namely finance due to loss of customers, and especially business continuity in the future. This is also driven by the tight competition factor in the FMS service business with the presence of companies that have been in business for a long time, with greater resources. ...
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The purpose of this study is to use the OCTAVE allegro methodology to identify risks in fleet management system (FMS), determine prioritized risks to be mitigated, provide mitigation recommendations for these prioritized risks, and shows how effective the recommendation is. The result of this study is expected to become an input for FMS service provider of possible risks in FMS services, and risk mitigation approaches that can be used to handle those risks. This risk assessment has successfully identified 6 critical information assets, 10 risks in total, and 4 risks that need to be mitigated, followed by proposed mitigation approaches for those risks. Some of the recommendation has been applied by the company and contribute to SLA achievement of the system. The result also showed that application and simulation software provide most prominent risks in FMS service, thus securing these two will eliminate most risk in FMS service.
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In this study the effects on corporate reputation work-related attitudes and behaviors of employees which are the organization's internal stakeholders have been examined. For this purpose, data obtained from 273 employees of five enterprises operating in the plastic packaging industry in the Marmara region have been evaluated. The results of the research have shown that there are impact on perceived corporate reputation of organizational pride, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior undertaken in the scope of work the attitudes and behaviors. According to survey results, the most significant variable affect is the perception of corporate reputation organizational pride variable defined as feeled pleasure to be part of the employee's organizations. Furthermore, organizational commitment, job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior, and business conditions enhances the perception of corporate reputation.
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Purpose The research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and firm performance (FP) has seen a surge over the years. However, the role of corporate reputation (CR), advertising strategy and market competition is still unclear. The purpose of this study is to consider this gap and test an integrative model of CSR-FP, in the context of India. Design/methodology/approach The data for CSR expenditure were collected from the annual reports of the selected companies. CR was captured using the ranks of Fortune India 500, Business Standard 1,000 and Economic Times 500. The financial data were collected from CMIE (Prowess) database. Findings Results of structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed a significant relationship between CSR expenditure of the firm and its reputation; but no relationship between CR and performance. When CR increases, the performance of a firm may not improve. Competitive intensity (CI) had no statistically significant role in the CR-FP relationship for performance. Results suggest that reputed firms perform well despite high competition within an industry. High reputation is effective in improving performance irrespective of competition. CI has a positive impact in the reputation–performance linkage. Advertising intensity (AI) played a significant moderating role in the CSR intensity and CR relationship. Originality/value This research represents an added value for the literature on CSR by highlighting the importance of CR, advertising strategy and market competition in the relationship between CSR and FP. The findings have several implications for theory and practice, which have been discussed in the study.
Although a considerable amount of research in personality psychology has been done to conceptualize human personality, identify the “Big Five” dimensions, and explore the meaning of each dimension, no parallel research has been conducted in consumer behavior on brand personality. Consequently, an understanding of the symbolic use of brands has been limited in the consumer behavior literature. In this research, the author develops a theoretical framework of the brand personality construct by determining the number and nature of dimensions of brand personality (Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness). To measure the five brand personality dimensions, a reliable, valid, and generalizable measurement scale is created. Finally, theoretical and practical implications regarding the symbolic use of brands are discussed.
Industrial crises deserve serious research attention because of their increasing rate of occurrence and their negative consequences on organizations and society. A particular type of crisis of great concern to marketers and advertisers is product harm crisis which can occur from several causes such as manufacturers negligence, product misuse or sabotage. All product harm crises involve financial costs for the troubled company. However, differences exist in the way firms respond to such crises. This paper analyzes the role or organizational communications in helping a firm successfully handle a product harm crisis. The study utilizes three important factors, that is, a companys reputation, responses, and the external effects, which affect managements success in handling a product harm crisis, in order to examine consumers attitudes toward the firms communications.
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