Measures of corporate reputation currently in widespread use suffer from fundamental methodological and conceptual weaknesses. This paper begins with a brief overview of the reputation construct and its expected dimensionality. It then examines some of the major indices in use and documents their principal weaknesses. A new instrument is proposed — ‘the reputation quotientSM (RQ) — to measure corporate reputations and establish its empirical validity and reliability through focus groups and pilot studies. It concludes that the reputation quotient is a robust measure of corporate reputations that considerably improves the state of the art in reputation measurement.
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1Charles J. Fombrun is Professor of Management at the Stern School of Business, New York University, and Executive Director of the Reputation Institute, a private research organisation dedicated to advancing knowledge about reputation measurement, valuation and management. He has published three books and over 50 articles on organisational adaptation, strategic management and corporate reputation. He is the author of the acclaimed: ‘Reputation: Realizing Value for the Corporate Image’, (Harvard Business School Press, 1996).
2Naomi A. Gardberg is a doctoral candidate in management and international business at the Stern School of Business. Her current research interests include cross-national formation, utilisation and implications of intangible assets such as reputational capital and organisational knowledge.
3Joy M. Sever, PhD, is a Senior Vice President at Harris Interactive and Director of the firm's Corporate Reputation Practice. She has been responsible for reputation research conducted at times of crisis, before and after mergers, and as part of regular reputation monitoring. She manages the Reputation QuotientSM(RQ) research conducted in partnership with Professor Charles Fombrun.
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Fombrun, C., Gardberg, N. & Sever, J. The Reputation QuotientSM: A multi-stakeholder measure of corporate reputation. J Brand Manag 7, 241–255 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1057/bm.2000.10