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Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation

Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation

2014 award winners

The Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation has made its annual awards for Best Published Paper and Best Dissertation.

The award for Best Dissertation went to Jonathan Bundy, Assistant Professor of Management and Organization at the Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University, for 'Reputations in flux: Examining how a firm’s multiple reputations influence reactions to negative violation'. Jonathan Bundy writes: 'We know little about how a negative event may threaten a firm’s multiple reputations, or how a firm’s reputation repair strategies may be more or less effective for different reputations. My dissertation advances research in this domain by investigating how a strategy used to repair one reputation may damage another. I also investigate how a firm’s multiple reputations affect managers’ choice of response strategies, and how different types of negative events affect the repair process. My dissertation explicates the reputation repair process as more complex and dynamic than scholars have previously considered. From a managerial perspective, a heightened awareness of the trade-offs associated with a firm’s multiple reputations should enhance managers’ ability to repair these reputations. Understanding how each reputation motivates their reactions should also allow stakeholders to recognise potential biases when responding to a negative event. Together, these practical implications should lead to more effective reputation management and increased benefits to both firms and stakeholders.'

The award for Best Published Paper went to Y. Sekou Bermiss, Brayden King and Edward Zajac for 'Under construction: How commensuration and management fashion affect corporate reputation rankings', published in Organization Science 25 (2). The paper analyses the antecedents of corporate reputation as a dynamic commensuration process, in which management fashions influence the attempts of audiences to quantify corporate reputation. Using Fortune reputation rankings over multiple decades, the researchers find evidence consistent with their hypotheses that audiences rely heavily on traditional as well as emerging measures of financial performance, especially when the new indicators become fashionable. Audiences have also begun to assess companies’ reputations based on indicators of social performance. The paper examines how business press discourse influences audience attention to these indicators.