Corporate Reputation and Competitiveness

Corporate Reputation and Competitiveness

Corporate Reputation and Competitiveness

Corporate Reputation and Competitiveness

Synopsis

This unique book written by four world leaders in reputation research, presents the latest cutting-edge thinking on organizational improvement. It covers media management, crisis management, the use of logos and other aspects of corporate identity, and argues the case for reputation management as a way of overseeing long-term organizational strategy.It presents a new approach to managing reputation, one that relies on surveying customers and employees on their view of the corporate character and in harmonizing the values of both. This approach has been trialled in a number of organizations and here the authors demonstrate how improving reputation, merely by learning more about what a company is already doing, is worth some 5% sales growth.The book is a vital, up to date resource for specialists in corporate communication, public relations, marketing, HRM, and business strategy as well as for all senior management. Highly illustrated with over 80 diagrams and tables, it includes up to the minute illustrative case studies and interviews with leading authorities in the field.

Excerpt

What drives competitiveness? This is the central question that animates most discussions about strategic positioning. As a researcher, how can I explain one company's ability to sustain higher margins than its rivals over long periods of time? As a manager, how do I create a strategic advantage for my company that other cannot easily duplicate?

To these questions, one of three answers is typically given: (1) companies build competitiveness from owning better stocks of physical assets - they invest in their infrastructures; (2) companies build competitiveness by gaining better and lower cost access to financial resources - they lower their cost of capital; and (3) companies build competitiveness by attracting better human resources - they create proprietary intellectual assets. Competitive advantage is therefore achieved when managers succeed in stockpiling the very best physical, financial, and human resources. This creates very high barriers that rivals cannot easily jump over, and so enables them to charge higher prices and sustain better margins.

A fourth answer has gained prominence in recent years: that companies achieve competitiveness from being better regarded than their peers - from reputation. In this view, managers build strategic advantage by generating favourable perceptions about the company in the minds of key stakeholders. These favourable perceptions become visible in the attractiveness of the company's products, services, trademarks, and brands, and constitute a company's reputational capital.

The focus on perceptions invites managers to take a more active, focused, and scientific approach to communicating with key stakeholders - an approach that is rapidly gaining currency under the label of 'Reputation Management' in companies around the world. As pragmatic interest in Reputation Management has grown, so too have academics begun incorporating 'corporate reputation' into the conceptual models. In the last six years, the Reputation Institute that I direct has conducted over seven research conferences on the topic of reputation and competitiveness. We have screened over 450 academic and practitioner papers, the best of which have been published in the Institute's quarterly journal - the Corporate Reputation Review. Quite significantly, contributions have been multi-disciplinary, and showcase work done by a wide-ranging group of economists, strategists, accountants, marketers, and organization theorists. To economists, reputations are traits that signal a company's likely behaviours to rivals. To strategists, a company's reputation is a barrier to the mobility of rivals in an industry. To accountants, reputations are an intangible asset, a form of goodwill whose value fluctuates in the marketplace and is tied to the company's . . .

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