Lens or prism? How organisations sustain multiple and competing reputations
European Journal of Marketing
Reason for embargo
Purpose This paper aims to challenge singular definitions, measurements and applications of corporate reputation which tend to be reductionist. The authors rebuff such narrow representations of reputation by showing the multiplicity of reputation in the case of a global management consulting firm and demonstrate how it has sustained such reputations. Design/methodology/approach Using a large cross-country qualitative case study based on interviews, focus groups, non-participant observations, workshops and a fieldwork diary, dimensions of reputation are highlighted by drawing on perceptions from multiple stakeholder groups in different geographies. Findings The authors find significant differences in perceptions of reputation between and within stakeholder groups, with perceptions changing across dimensions and geographies. Originality/value The theoretical implications of the research indicate a plurality of extant reputations, suggesting that a prism is more suited to representing corporate reputation than a singular, lens-like focus which is too narrow to constitute reputation. This paper offers theoretical and practical suggestions for how global firms can build and sustain multiple and competing corporate reputations.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Emerald via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 51 (4), pp. 821-844