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Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation

Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation

2009 award winners

Picture: Award winner Tillmann Wagner with Centre Director, Rupert Younger

The Centre for Corporate Reputation Best Published Paper Award winners 2009 were announced at the inaugural Reputation Symposium in Oxford.

This year’s award is made to Professor Tillmann Wagner, Professor Barton Weitz and Professor Richard Lutz for their Journal of Marketing paper entitled Corporate Hypocrisy: Overcoming the Threat of Inconsistent Corporate Social Responsibility Perceptions (link provided to the American Marketing Association Journal website where a subscription may be required). The paper’s major contribution to reputation literature lies in the introduction of the concept of corporate hypocrisy beliefs, caused by inconsistent information about a firm’s behaviour contrary to their stated standard of social responsibility. The authors have decided to donate their £1000 prize money to the World Wildlife Fund, Oil Spill Relief Fund.

Tillmann Wagner, Professor of Marketing at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany, special guest at the symposium, explained his research: “Although firms are developing and communicating more information about their socially responsible policies and practices, reported incidents of irresponsible behaviour are bound to increase as firms’ operations globalise and policies are implemented by a wide variety of employees in different locations.”

“Increasing amounts of negative corporate social responsibility information are widely available due to the rise of Internet-based information sources, aggressive consumer advocacy groups, rising numbers of anti-corporate Web sites, and popular movie documentaries. Thus, stakeholders often confront both favourable social responsibility policy statements made by firms on the one hand and reports of firms’ socially irresponsible behaviour on the other hand. When stakeholders are exposed to such conflicting information, they may develop perceptions of the firm as being hypocritical in that its actions do not match its words.”

A Runner up prize of £250 was awarded to Hean Tat Keh and Yi Xie for their article, Corporate reputation and customer behavioral intentions: The roles of trust, identification and commitment (link provided to the Science Direct website where a subscription may be required). The authors are affiliated with the Department of Marketing, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing, China, and the article was published in Industrial Marketing Management.

The Centre for Corporate Reputation announced the launch of their Annual Awards at the beginning of 2010, offering £1000 for the Best Published Paper 2009. This award, along with a £1000 prize for Best Dissertation, is to become an ongoing award, aiming to recognise and reward significant scholarly contributions to the literature on corporate reputation. The prize includes a funded trip to the Centre’s annual Symposium in Oxford.