Defining and Measuring Corporate Reputations

17 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2016

See all articles by Grahame Dowling

Grahame Dowling

Australian Graduate School of Management

Date Written: Autumn 2016


Corporate reputation is a construct that has gained widespread recognition in the disciplines of strategy, corporate social responsibility, management and marketing because a good reputation is thought to be more commercially valuable than a bad reputation. However, recent reviews of the scholarly literature suggest that because the construct of corporate reputation has been defined in a wide variety of ways it is difficult to understand the antecedents and consequences of the construct. To illustrate this problem 50 different definitions of corporate reputations are reviewed. This analysis suggests that some of the most prominent measures are not grounded in the definitions that are thought to underpin them. This phenomena presents a challenge to anybody wanting to meta‐analyze findings and to build new theories of corporate reputation. To help advance the field a framework is presented to guide the refinement of scholarly definitions so that they are well constructed and thus capable of guiding the development of valid measures of the construct. To illustrate this framework a new definition and some new measures are provided.

Keywords: corporate reputation, definitions, measures

Suggested Citation

Dowling, Grahame, Defining and Measuring Corporate Reputations (Autumn 2016). European Management Review, Vol. 13, Issue 3, pp. 207-223, 2016, Available at SSRN: or

Grahame Dowling (Contact Author)

Australian Graduate School of Management ( email )

Gate 11, Botany Street, Randwick
Sydney, NSW 2052

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