The determinants of organisational reputation

Van Gellecum, Yolanda (2003). The determinants of organisational reputation Master's Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

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Author Van Gellecum, Yolanda
Thesis Title The determinants of organisational reputation
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type Master's Thesis
Supervisor Prof Mark Western
John Western
Total pages 106
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subjects L
150310 Organisation and Management Theory
150303 Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement
Formatted abstract

As a form of legitimacy corporate reputation is increasingly being recognised as an important resource for business and as an important form of normative control for stakeholders. Institutional theory, the major theory employed in this thesis, views pressures for social conformity as shaping organisational behaviour via two processes: socio-political legitimacy, conferred by formal entities such as governments, and by cognitive legitimacy emergent from informal groups and individuals such as customers and citizens. As an informal process, corporate reputation is understood as the normative manifestation of both legitimacies, with emphasis placed on the latter. Widely published corporate reputation measures, however, have a reverse emphasis focusing almost exclusively on socio-political industry insiders. The consequence of this is twofold: (a) overemphasis on economic attributes of reputation and underdevelopment of non-economic attributes such as social and ethical responsibility, and (b) failure to capture multiple stakeholder perceptions necessary for the valid measurement of corporate reputation. This thesis empirically addresses this skewed approach. Specifically, customer and community attitudes were examined for the importance placed on both economic and non-economic attributes of corporate reputation. A community sample of users and nonusers of large government business enterprise, n=603, was conducted with three sets of determinants of reputation explored: raters' direct assessments of organisational performance; the relative contribution of widely held informal norms or institutionalised beliefs; and direct and indirect effects of stakeholder demographics. A series of regression analyses were conducted to examine how demographic characteristics influence different economic and non-economic domains of corporate reputation. Hierarchical modelling was subsequently applied to examine the joint impact of demographic, economic and non-economic domains on overall corporate reputation. Other than stakeholder type, the study did not support demographic attributes as substantial determinants of organisational reputation. The most prominent determinants were direct ratings of perceived core skills including product and service quality, and perceived social responsibility. The results suggest that institutionalised beliefs may contribute directly to assessments of organisational reputation and that these reflect more traditional ideals of fiscal, managerial and product performance.

Keyword Corporate image
Corporations -- Public relations

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Tue, 20 Sep 2011, 12:02:56 EST by Ning Jing on behalf of The University of Queensland Library