One reputation or many? Comparing stakeholders' perceptions of corporate reputation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Purpose - The firm's reputation is one of its most valued intangible assets. Scientific and managerial interest in corporate reputation grows steadily. Reputation management - one of the cornerstones of corporate communications - seeks to align communication with stakeholder groups as to prevent a fragmented reputation. As yet, little is known about the perception of corporate reputation amongst the different stakeholders of a firm. Comparative empirical evidence has remained scarce. The aim of this paper is therefore to raise fundamental questions about reputation: how it may or may not differ between stakeholder groups and how firms can take these differences into account when measuring and managing corporate reputation. Design/methodology/approach - A single-case, but very substantial, quantitative empirical study among German consumers, employees, and private investors of a consumer goods producer. Methods of data analysis include cluster analysis, ANOVA, and structural equation modelling using partial least squares. Findings - The data analysis shows that the criteria applied by individuals belonging to different stakeholder groups in assessing corporate reputation are rather similar. Differentiation emerges in relation to actual perceptions of various reputational facets. Practical implications - The findings have implications for building and interpreting the results of stakeholder-related measures of corporate reputation and for reputation management. Originality/value - The paper integrates different stakeholders' perceptions of corporate reputation within one empirical design and delivers insights into the relevance of adapting reputation measures to specific stakeholder groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-254
Number of pages17
JournalCorporate Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Germany
  • Stakeholder analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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