Corporate Reputation Review

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 144–158 | Cite as

Same Same but Different: the Relationship Between Organizational Reputation and Organizational Public Value

  • Timo MeynhardtEmail author
  • Pepe Strathoff
  • Andreas Fröhlich
  • Steven A. Brieger
Original Article


Organizational public value and organizational reputation are different concepts stemming from independent research traditions. Nevertheless, the constructs share several similarities, which make a systematic comparison and investigation of their relationship a promising and necessary endeavor. In this paper, we compare the two constructs along seven dimensions, with special attention to the micro-level of individual psychology. Several similarities regarding strategic relevance, locus of control, measurement unit, process dynamics, and axiological nature exist. As we will see, the constructs differ significantly with respect to the basis of evaluation and their dominant logic. We draw on a recent micro-foundation of public value to elaborate on these differences and develop propositions about how the constructs are related. Public value applies a holistic basis of evaluation covering all basic values and collective frames of reference, while reputation is more adaptive. Moreover, public value follows a logic of contribution (to a collective), while reputation follows a logic of recognition (by a collective). The two constructs should not be taken as similar or used interchangeably. However, both fields can benefit from a joint theoretical basis and micro-foundation, as well as from connected research programs. Practitioners should consider both constructs in connection.


Organizational reputation Public value Construct comparison Axiology Micro-foundation 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.


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Copyright information

© Reputation Institute and Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timo Meynhardt
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pepe Strathoff
    • 2
  • Andreas Fröhlich
    • 1
  • Steven A. Brieger
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Dr. Arend Oetker Chair of Business Psychology and LeadershipHHL Leipzig Graduate School of ManagementLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Center for Leadership and Values in SocietyUniversity of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland
  3. 3.University of Sussex Business SchoolUniversity of SussexBrightonUnited Kingdom

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