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

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.

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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.

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Fombrun, C., Ponzi, L. & Newburry, W. Stakeholder Tracking and Analysis: The RepTrak® System for Measuring Corporate Reputation. Corp Reputation Rev 18, 3–24 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1057/crr.2014.21

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Keywords

  • corporate reputation
  • cross-cultural
  • reputation measurement
  • scale development
  • stakeholder management