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Reputation and ethical behaviour in a crisis: predicting survival

By Tom Watson

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the interrelation of reputation with corporate\ud performance in a crisis and consider the factors that make up the balance between strong recovery,\ud bare survival and failure. The emphasis is on corporate communication and corporate governance.\ud Design/methodology/approach – The current debate on reputation and the validity of the term\ud reputation management is reviewed and cases studies from Australia and the UK are examined.\ud Findings – The paper finds that, in the case studies, poor management, unethical practices, a lack of\ud engagement with customers and other stakeholders, indifferent or aggressive performances by CEOs\ud and lack of preparedness for crisis communication severely or terminally affected the organisations. It\ud identifies a new reputational factor of predictability and considers why some organisations survive a\ud crisis that has strong negative ethical dimensions while others fail.\ud Originality/value – This paper scrutinises existing concepts of reputation and reputation\ud management and finds that they are not able to predict recovery, survival or failure of\ud organisations. A new definition of reputation is put forward and the factor of predictability is\ud emphasised in proposals for new applied theory

Topics: ccms
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk:11222

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