Advertisement

Corporate Reputation Review

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 3–24 | Cite as

Stakeholder Tracking and Analysis: The RepTrak® System for Measuring Corporate Reputation

  • Charles J. Fombrun
  • Leonard J. Ponzi
  • William Newburry
Original Article

Abstract

‘Reputation’ is increasingly recognized for its influence in creating stakeholder support and engagement with companies. Both researchers and practitioners would therefore benefit from having a rigorous instrument to measure reputations and the ability to develop predictive modeling of reputation’s impact on stakeholder outcomes. The RepTrak® System evolved from studies conducted by Reputation Institute since 2000 to provide a systematic tool for tracking and analyzing stakeholder perceptions that could help companies better manage their reputation and its effects on stakeholder behaviors. Prior research has demonstrated the validity of the RepTrak® Pulse as a short form measure of ‘corporate reputation’. This study reports empirical tests developed to validate the seven dimensions that the RepTrak® System uses to predict corporate reputation and stakeholder support. Although these seven dimensions have been verified internally by Reputation Institute, this methodology and its validation have not been reported publicly, limiting researchers’ and practitioners’ abilities to use the seven dimensions in their respective efforts. To shed light on the model’s structure, this paper reports tests conducted to validate the measures empirically across five stakeholder groups in six countries. Multivariate analyses confirm the existence and stability of the seven underlying dimensions in the factor structure, each of which is constructed from a set of 3–4 underlying attributes. The modeling therefore validates the RepTrak® scorecard as a tool for measuring and tracking multi-stakeholder perceptions of companies.

Keywords

corporate reputation cross-cultural reputation measurement scale development stakeholder management 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Professor Naomi Gardberg, Sebastian Taciak, RI Manager – Global Research & Analytics, CRR Editor Cees van Riel and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions on previous drafts of this paper.

References

  1. Aaron, J.R., McMillan, A. and Cline, B.N. (2012) ‘Investor reaction to firm environmental management reputation’, Corporate Reputation Review, 15 (4), 304–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alniacik, E., Alniacik, U. and Erdogmus, N. (2012) ‘How do the dimensions of corporate reputation affect employment intentions?’ Corporate Reputation Review, 15 (1), 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barnett, M.L. and Pollock, T.G. (eds.) (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  4. Basdeo, D.K., Smith, K.G., Grimm, C.M., Rindova, V.P. and Derfus, P.J. (2006) ‘The impact of market actions on firm reputation’, Strategic Management Journal, 27 (12), 1205–1219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bendisch, F., Larsen, G. and Trueman, M. (2013) ‘Fame and fortune: A conceptual model of CEO brands’, European Journal of Marketing, 47 (3/4), 596–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berger, J. and Fitzsimons, G. (2008) ‘Dogs on the street, pumas on your feet: How cues in the environment influence product evaluation and choice’, Journal of Management Research, 45 (1), 1–14.Google Scholar
  7. Brammer, S. and Jackson, G. (2012) ‘How regulatory institutions influence corporate reputations: A cross-country comparative approach’, in, M.L. Barnett and T.G. Pollock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 297–319.Google Scholar
  8. Carreras, E., Alloza, A. and Carreras, A. (2013) Corporate Reputation, LID Publishing, London.Google Scholar
  9. Casado, A.M., Peláez, J.I. and Cardona, J. (2014) ‘Managing corporate reputation: A perspective on the Spanish market’, Corporate Reputation Review, 17 (1), 46–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen, H., Ng, S. and Rao, A.R. (2005) ‘Cultural differences in consumer impatience’, Journal of Marketing Research, 42 (3), 291–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Christian, R.C. (1959) ‘How important is corporate image?’ Journal of Marketing, 24 (2), 79–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Courtright, J.L. and Smudde, P.M. (2009) ‘Leveraging organizational innovation for strategic reputation management’, Corporate Reputation Review, 12 (3), 245–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davis, G.F. (2005) ‘New directions in corporate governance’, Annual Review of Sociology, 31, 143–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dawar, N. and Parker, P. (1994) ‘Marketing universals: Consumers’ use of brand name, price, physical appearance, and retailer reputation as signals of product quality’, Journal of Marketing, 58 (2), 81–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Deephouse, D.L., Li, L. and Newburry, W. (2009) ‘Institutional and national culture effects on corporate reputation’. Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, August, Chicago, pp. 1–6.Google Scholar
  16. Dempster, A.P., Laird, N.M. and Rubin, D.B. (1977) ‘Maximum likelihood from incomplete data via the EM algorithm’, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series B (Methodological), 39 (1), 1–38.Google Scholar
  17. Donaldson, T. and Preston, L.E. (1995) ‘The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, evidence, and implications’, Academy of Management Review, 20 (1), 65–91.Google Scholar
  18. Dowling, G.R. and Gardberg, N.A. (2012) ‘Keeping score: The challenges of measuring corporate reputation’, in, M.L. Barnett and T.G. Pollock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 34–68.Google Scholar
  19. D’Souza, C., Taghian, M. and Sullivan-Mort, G. (2013) ‘Environmentally motivated actions influencing perceptions of environmental corporate reputation’, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 21 (6), 541–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eagle, B.W., Miles, E.W. and Icenogle, M.L. (2001) ‘Male and female interpretations of bidirectional work-family conflict scales’, in, C.A. Schriesheim and L.L. Neider (eds.), Equivalence in Measurement, Information Age, Greenwich, CT, pp. 5–23.Google Scholar
  21. Fan, D., Geddes, D. and Flory, F. (2013) ‘The Toyota recall crisis: Media impact on Toyota’s corporate brand and reputation’, Corporate Reputation Review, 16 (2), 99–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fan, X., Thompson, B. and Wang, L. (1999) ‘Effects of sample size, estimation methods, and model specification on structural equation modeling fit indexes’, Structural Equation Modeling, 6 (1), 56–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fang, E., Palmatier, R.W. and Grewal, R. (2011) ‘Effects of customer and innovation asset configuration strategies on firm performance’, Journal of Marketing Research, 48 (3), 587–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Farrell, A.M. (2010) ‘Insufficient discriminant validity: A comment on Bove, Pervan, Beatty, and Shiu (2009)’, Journal of Business Research, 63 (3), 324–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Flatt, S.J., Harris-Boundy, J. and Wagner, S. (2013) ‘CEO succession: A help or hindrance to corporate reptuation?’ Corporate Reputation Review, 16 (3), 206–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fombrun, C.J. (1996) Reputation: Realizing Value from the Corporate Image, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.Google Scholar
  27. Fombrun, C.J. (2012) ‘The building blocks of corporate reputation: Definitions, antecedents, consequences’, in, M.L. Barnett and T.G. Pollock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 94–113.Google Scholar
  28. Fombrun, C. and Shanley, M. (1990) ‘What’s in a name? Reputation building and corporate strategy’, Academy of Management Journal, 33 (2), 233–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fombrun, C.J., Gardberg, N.A. and Sever, J.M. (2000) ‘A multi-stakeholder measure of corporate reputation’, Journal of Brand Management, 7 (4), 241–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Fornell, C. and Larcker, D.F. (1981) ‘Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error’, Journal of Market Research, 18 (1), 39–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Freeman, R.E. (1984) Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, Pitman, Boston.Google Scholar
  32. Gaines-Ross, L. (2002) CEO Capital: A Guide to Building CEO Reputation and Company Success, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.Google Scholar
  33. Gardberg, N.A. (2006) ‘Reputatie, reputation, réputation, reputazione, ruf: A cross-cultural qualitative analysis of construct and instrument equivalence’, Corporate Reputation Review, 9 (1), 39–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gardberg, N.A. and Fombrun, C.J. (2002) ‘The global Reputation Quotient project: First steps towards a cross-nationally valid measure of corporate reputation’, Corporate Reputation Review, 4 (4), 303–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ghosh, M. and John, G. (2009) ‘When should original equipment manufacturers use branded component contracts with suppliers?’ Journal of Marketing Research, 46 (5), 597–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Goldfarb, A., Lu, Q. and Moorthy, S. (2009) ‘Measuring brand value in an equilibrium framework’, Marketing Science, 28 (1), 69–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Goldfarb, A. and Yang, B. (2009) ‘Are all managers created equal?’ Journal of Marketing Research, 46 (5), 612–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gottschalk, P. (2013) ‘Limits to corporate social responsibility: The case of Gjensidige Insurance Company and Hells Angels Motorcycle Club’, Corporate Reputation Review, 16 (3), 177–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hair Jr. J.F., Black, W.C., Babin, B.J. and Anderson, R.E. (2010) Multivariate Data Analysis: A Global Perspective 7th edn. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.Google Scholar
  40. Hair Jr. J.F., Black, W.C., Babin, B.J., Anderson, R.E. and Tatham, R.L. (2006) Multivariate Data Analysis 6th edn. Pearson-Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.Google Scholar
  41. Halff, G. (2013) ‘The presentation of CEOs in economic downturn’, Corporate Reputation Review, 16 (3), 234–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kim, S.K., McFarland, R.G., Kwon, S., Son, S. and Griffith, D.A. (2011) ‘Understanding governance decisions in a partially integrated channel: A contingent alignment framework’, Journal of Marketing Research, 48 (3), 603–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kline, R.B. (2005) Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling, 2nd edn., Guilford, New York.Google Scholar
  44. Koschate-Fischer, N., Stefan, I.V. and Hoyer, W.D. (2012) ‘Willingness to pay for cause-related marketing: The impact of donation amount and moderating effects’, Journal of Marketing Research, 49 (6), 910–927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lange, D., Lee, P.M. and Dai, Y. (2011) ‘Organizational reputation: A review’, Journal of Management, 37 (1), 153–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Little, J. (1992) ‘Regression with missing X’s: A review’, Journal of the American Statistical Association, 87 (420), 1227–1237.Google Scholar
  47. Martin, G., Gollan, P.L. and Grigg, K. (2011) ‘Is there a bigger and better future for employer branding? Facing up to innovation, corporate reputations and wicked problems in SHRM’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22 (17), 3618–3637.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mason, A.M. (2014) ‘The impact of media frames and treatment responsibility within the situational crisis communication theory framework’, Corporate Reputation Review, 17 (1), 78–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McQuitty, S. (2004) ‘Statistical power and structural equation models in business research’, Journal of Business Research, 57 (2), 175–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Michaelis, M., Woisetschlager, D.M., Backhaus, C. and Ahlert, D. (2008) ‘The effects of country of origin and corporate reputation on initial trust: An experimental evaluation of the perception of Polish consumers’, International Marketing Review, 25 (4), 404–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Milgrom, P. and Roberts, J. (1986) ‘Price and advertising signals of product quality’, Journal of Political Economy, 94 (4), 796–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mio, C. and Fasan, M. (2012) ‘Does corporate social performance yield any tangible financial benefit during a crisis? An event study of Lehman brothers’ bankruptcy’, Corporate Reputation Review, 15 (4), 263–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Morris, S.A., Bartkus, B.R., Glassman, M. and Rhiel, G.S. (2013) ‘Philanthropy and corporate reputation: An empirical investigation’, Corporate Reputation Review, 16 (4), 285–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Newburry, W. (2010) ‘Reputation and supportive behavior: Moderating impacts of foreignness, industry and local exposure’, Corporate Reputation Review, 12 (4), 388–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Newburry, W., Gardberg, N.A. and Sanchez, J.I. (2014) ‘Employer attractiveness in Latin America: The association among foreignness, internationalization and talent recruitment’, Journal of International Management, 20 (3), 327–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Nolan, K.P., Gohlke, M., Gilmore, J. and Rosiello, R. (2013) ‘Examining how corporations use online job ads to communicate employer brand image information’, Corporate Reputation Review, 16 (4), 300–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Nunnally, J.C. and Bernstein, I.H. (1994) Psychometric Theory, 3rd edn., McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  58. Orlitzky, M. and Swanson, D.L. (2012) ‘Assessing stakeholder satisfaction: Toward a supplemental measure of corporate social performance as reputation’, Corporate Reputation Review, 15 (2), 119–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ponzi, L.J., Fombrun, C.J. and Gardberg, N.A. (2011) ‘RepTrak® Pulse: Conceptualizing and validating a short-form measure of corporate reputation’, Corporate Reputation Review, 14 (1), 15–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Prabhu, J. and Stewart, D.W. (2001) ‘Signaling strategies in competitive interaction: Building reputations and hiding the truth’, Journal of Marketing Research, 38 (1), 62–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rao, A.R., Qu, L. and Ruekert, R.W. (1999) ‘Signaling unobservable product quality through a brand ally’, Journal of Marketing Research, 36 (2), 258–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rindova, V.P. and Martins, L.L. (2012) ‘Show me the money: A multidimensional perspective on reputation as an intangible asset’, in, M.L. Barnett and T.G. Pollock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 16–33.Google Scholar
  63. Sarstedt, M., Wilczynski, P. and Melewar, T.C. (2013) ‘Measuring reputation in global markets – A comparison of reputation measures’ convergent and criterion validities’, Journal of World Business, 48 (3), 329–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Satorra, A. and Bentler, P. (2001) ‘A scaled difference chi-square test statistic for moment structure analysis’, Psychometrika, 66 (4), 507–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Schermelleh-Engel, K., Moosbrugger, M. and Müller, H. (2003) ‘Evaluating the fit of structural equation models: Tests of significance and descriptive goodness-of-fit measures’, Methods of Psychological Research Online, 6 (2), 23–74.Google Scholar
  66. Schreiber, J.B., Nora, A., Stage, F.K., Barlow, E.A. and King, J. (2006) ‘Reporting structural equation modeling and confirmatory factor analysis results: A review’, Journal of Educational Research, 99 (6), 323–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Smith, K.T., Smith, M. and Wang, K. (2010) ‘Does brand management of corporate reputation translate into higher market value?’ Journal of Strategic Marketing, 18 (3), 201–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Soleimani, A., Schneper, W.D. and Newburry, W. (2014) ‘The impact of stakeholder power on corporate reputation: A cross-country corporate governance perspective’, Organization Science, 25 (4), 991–1008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sonnier, G. and Ainslie, A. (2011) ‘Estimating the value of brand-image associations: The role of general and specific brand image’, Journal of Marketing Research, 48 (3), 518–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Spector, P.E. (1992) Summated Rating Scales Construction, Sage, Newbury Park.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Spence, M. (1973) ‘Job market signaling’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 87 (3), 355–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sridhar, K. (2012) ‘The relationship between the adoption of triple bottom line and enhanced corporate reputation and legitimacy’, Corporate Reputation Review, 15 (2), 69–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Srivastava, J. and Chakravarti, D. (2009) ‘Channel negotiations with information asymmetries: Contingent influences of communication and trustworthiness reputations’, Journal of Marketing Research, 46 (4), 557–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Tichy, N.M., McGill, A.R. and St Clair, L. (eds.) (1997) Corporate Global Citizenship, New Lexington Press, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  75. Treadway, D.C., Adams, G.L., Ranft, A.L. and Ferris, G.R. (2009) ‘A meso-level conceptualization of CEO celebrity effectiveness’, Leadership Quarterly, 20 (4), 554–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Van Den Bogaerd, M. and Aerts, W. (2014) ‘Media reputation of a firm and extent of trade credit supply’, Corporate Reputation Review, 17 (1), 28–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Van Der Merwe, A.W.A.J. and Puth, G. (2014) ‘Towards a conceptual model of the relationship between corporate trust and corporate reputation’, Corporate Reputation Review, 17 (2), 138–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. van Riel, C.B.M. (2012) The Alignment Factor: Leveraging the Power of Total Stakeholder Support, Routledge Press, London and New York.Google Scholar
  79. van Riel, C.B.M. and Fombrun, C.J. (2007) Essentials of Corporate Communication: Implementing Practices for Effective Reputation Management, Routledge, London and New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Vidaver-Cohen, D. and Brønn, P.S. (2013) ‘Reputation, responsibility, and stakeholder support in Scandinavian firms: A comparative analysis’, Journal of Business Ethics. published online, forthcoming in press doi:10.1007/s10551-013-1673-7.Google Scholar
  81. Vlachos, P.A., Krepapa, A., Panagopoulos, N.G. and Tsamakos, A. (2013) ‘Curvilinear effects of corporate social responsibility and benevolence on loyalty’, Corporate Reputation Review, 16 (4), 248–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Waddock, S. and Graves, S. (1997) ‘The corporate social performance – Financial performance link’, Strategic Management Journal, 18 (4), 303–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Wade, J.B., Porac, J.F., Pollock, T.G. and Graffin, S.D. (2008) ‘Star CEOs: Benefit or burden’, Organizational Dynamics, 37 (2), 203–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Walsh, J.P., Weber, K. and Margolis, J.D. (2003) ‘Social issues and management: Our lost cause found’, Journal of Management, 29 (6), 859–881.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Westphal, J.D. and Deephouse, D.L. (2011) ‘Avoiding bad press: Interpersonal influence in relations between CEOs and journalists and the consequences for press reporting about firms and their leadership’, Organization Science, 22 (4), 1061–1086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles J. Fombrun
    • 1
  • Leonard J. Ponzi
    • 2
  • William Newburry
    • 3
  1. 1.Reputation InstituteNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Reputation InstituteNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations