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What’s in a name? Decomposing corporate reputation to assess the relative impact of temporal, firm and industry level factors

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  • Sujit Sur

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  • Carol-Ann Sirsly

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Abstract

While the perceptual nature of corporate reputation is rarely contested, the role of governance and firm financial performance does not have the same consensus. As reputation is an embedded capability that cannot be distinctly valued or traded, the ambiguity in reputation generation clouds researchers’ attempts to understand the relative importance of the underlying causal factors, particularly firm-specific attributes like board characteristics, governance and ownership—independent of the firm’s financial performance over time. Utilizing a resource—based view, we develop a theoretically grounded framework that enables us to deconstruct corporate reputation and parse out the impact at multiple levels and the factors therein. We decompose reputation into time, firm and industry level factors, offer hypotheses on the relative importance of the factors at each level, and thereafter we simultaneously assess within and across the temporal, firm and industry levels to quantify the impact of the causal factors. We find that 49.65 % of the variation in corporate reputation is firm-specific, independent of financial performance, while industry-specific variables account for just 5.04 %. The temporal factors including the multi-level interaction terms explain 46.06 % of reputational variation, of which financial performance accounts for only 18.53 % and the “halo effect” of prior financial performance is short-lived. Furthermore, the commonly accepted factors explain only 26.44 % of the total variation in corporate reputation, and some of the governance and ownership indicators contradict generally accepted agency expectations. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Sujit Sur & Carol-Ann Sirsly, 2013. "What’s in a name? Decomposing corporate reputation to assess the relative impact of temporal, firm and industry level factors," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(4), pages 1047-1072, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:17:y:2013:i:4:p:1047-1072
    DOI: 10.1007/s10997-012-9214-9
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    1. Annika Veh & Markus Göbel & Rick Vogel, 2019. "Corporate reputation in management research: a review of the literature and assessment of the concept," Business Research, Springer;German Academic Association for Business Research, vol. 12(2), pages 315-353, December.

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