Stakeholder perceptions of organisational reputation

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Conference Paper

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Bahr, M., Warbuton, J., van Gellecum, Y., & Shapiro, M. (2008). Stakeholder perceptions of organisational reputation. Paper presented at the 7th Australian Conference on Personality and Individual Differences, 27-29 November, Gold Coast, Australia

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Good reputation management is becoming increasingly important as organisations and the social environments in which they function become more complex (Caruana, 2000; Bromley, 1993; Fryxell, 1994; Fombrun, 1996, 1998). Organisations are being evaluated by far more demanding standards than in the past, and are increasingly being held responsible for their environmental, social and ethical decisions as well as their economic decisions (Backer, 2001; Hanson, 2001; Inglehart, 1997; Pruzan, 2001; Schultz, 2001; Burke, 1999; Inglehart, 1994). Mishandled social, ethical and environmental issues can have dire consequences for corporate reputation. Well known and well documented examples include the Royal Dutch/Shell Brent Spar and Nigeria incidents, where perceived social violations were detrimental to their reputation (see for example Dickson and McCulloch 1996; Livesey 2001) A more recent example includes the BHP OK Tedi case, where serious environmental damage resulted in a disastrous outcome for their reputation (see Hanson and Stewart 2001).

The current study investigated differences in stakeholder groups perspectives on organisational reputation and highlights the similarity and differences between different stakeholder groups in terms of their perception of a large organizations reputations. A sample of 1208 respondants was drawn from six stakeholder groups. Stakeholder groups included: city residents, non-local residents, employees, business customers, suppliers, and media and local government. Differences in stakeholder perceptions are compared through structural equation modelling.

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