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Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation

Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation

2010 award winners

Picture: Michael Pfarrer presents 'A Tale of Two Assets' at the Reputation Symposium 2011

The Centre for Corporate Reputation Best Published Paper Award winners 2010 were announced at the second Reputation Symposium in Oxford.

This year’s award was made to Assistant Professor Michael D. Pfarrer, Professor Timothy Pollock and Professor Violina Rindova for their Academy of Management Journal paper entitled A Tale of Two Assets: The Effects of Firm Reputation and Celebrity on Earnings Surprises and Investors' Reactions (link provided to the Academy of Management Journal website, subscription may be required). The paper’s major contribution to reputation literature lies in the comparison of the effects of two intangible assets - firm reputation and celebrity - and the impact of these on surprise announcements of positive or negative earnings and associated investor reactions.

Michael D. Pfarrer, Assistant Professor at the Department of Management at the Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, USA, was a special guest and presenter at the symposium. He explained that the research 'shows that reputation and celebrity are both important for firm performance, but they are valuable in different ways. Reputation is an asset that accrues over time and is based on public recognition of the quality of a firm’s products, services, or activities. In contrast, celebrity is an asset that develops more quickly, and it results from high levels of public attention and positive emotional resonance with stakeholders. Importantly, firm celebrity is not just media visibility. Simply being in the press, absent the generation of positive emotional resonance, is insufficient for the firm to accrue the benefits of celebrity.

'We also find that the strategies that lead to the development of reputation and celebrity can make it difficult to build the other. Very few firms appear to possess both assets simultaneously. The challenge for managers is to understand the short- and long-term costs and benefits of each asset and to figure out which they can develop given “where they are” relative to other firms and "where they want to be" in the future.'

A prize for Best Dissertation was awarded to Dr. Christine Falkenreck of the University of Kassel, Germany, for her dissertation on, Impact on Reputation and Reputation Transfer in International Direct Marketing – Empirical Research in Five B-to-B Markets. The thesis focused on whether and how national culture influences the way a company’s reputation is perceived in different countries.