Lens or Prism? How Organisations Sustain Multiple and Competing Reputations

European Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming

Posted: 11 Nov 2016 Last revised: 22 Nov 2016

See all articles by William S. Harvey

William S. Harvey

University of Exeter Business School

Marwa Tourky

University of Exeter, Business School, Department of Economics, Students

Eric R. W. Knight

University of Sydney Business School

Philip J. Kitchen

Hull University Business School (HUBS)

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

Purpose: This paper challenges singular definitions, measurements and applications of corporate reputation which tend to be reductionist. We 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: We 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.

Keywords: Corporate reputations, Case study, Stakeholders, Geographies, Professional service firms, Prism

JEL Classification: M31, M20

Suggested Citation

Harvey, William S. and Tourky, Marwa and Knight, Eric R. W. and Kitchen, Philip J., Lens or Prism? How Organisations Sustain Multiple and Competing Reputations (2016). European Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2867869

William S. Harvey (Contact Author)

University of Exeter Business School ( email )

Rennes Drive
Exeter, EX4 4PU
United Kingdom

Marwa Tourky

University of Exeter, Business School, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Streatham Court
Exeter
United Kingdom

Eric R. W. Knight

University of Sydney Business School ( email )

Cnr. of Codrington and Rose Streets
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Philip J. Kitchen

Hull University Business School (HUBS) ( email )

Hull, HU6 7RX
United Kingdom

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